Skip to main content

Full text of "The life of Anne Boleyn"

See other formats


Life of Anne Boleyn 

From the painting by an unknown artist in the National Portrait Gallery. 

Anne Boleyn. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

By Philip W. Sergeant 

Author of "Cleopatra of Egypt," "The Empress 
Josephine," etc., etc. 






It is a melancholy feature, to a student of the Tudor period of 
history, that no attempt is made by the contemporaries of 
the leading men and women in it to judge them dispassionately, 
according to their merits ; the verdict is decided solely by 
reference to their religious views. It is not character which 
counts as a title to praise or blame, to love or hatred, but one 
thing only, whether the man or woman was a friend or foe ot 
the ruling Church. This is the touchstone to distinguish 
between gold and base metal. Any error, any duplicity, 
almost any crime can be forgiven to " right views." When 
the end comes, as so often, in a cruel way, if the sufferer is 
orthodox, from the writer's standpoint, he is a martyr ; other- 
wise, si periret, vile damnum — he is a pernicious heretic, and 
there is no more to be said about it. 

This is melancholy, but not surprising, in a time of such 
bitter religious dissension. Not surprising, that is to say, to 
anyone who appreciates the danger of deep " conviction " in 
so imperfect and ill-balanced an organ as the human brain. 
What is surprising is that, at such a distance of time from the 
Tudor days as now, the same false method of judgment should 
hold sway, that the ghosts of those who lived and wrote under 
Henry VIII and his immediate successors should be allowed 
to guide the pens of their descendants. With such a wealth 
of evidence before them as has been revealed by patient re- 
search among the actual documents of the period, the general 
body of historians still continue to find the test of worth in 
" Catholicism " or " Protestantism," and to shut their eyes to 
what really matters, the character — the soul if you like — 
beneath the label. Thus, according to religious classification, 
we get whole rows of saints and sinners, who were really just 
ordinary men and women, far removed from sainthood, and 
no more sinful, in the majority of cases, than the men and 
womenof to-day. 




I trust that it is not necessary, to those who have read my 
" Little Jennings and Fighting Dick Talbot," for me to assert 
that I have no bias against the Church of Rome. The Duke 
of Tyrconnel was a Roman Catholic ; and I was at considerable 
pains to establish that he was not the scoundrel that Whig- 
Protestant historians, and their arch-priest Macaulay in 
particular, represented him to be. I endeavoured (with 
inadequate success, perhaps) to show him as a man, not a 
religious bogey. I claim the same privilege with regard to 
Anne Boleyn. That she was a sympathizer with the Re- 
formers, their patron and their " nurse," as Anne's most bitter 
enemy Chapuys called her, has nothing whatever to do with 
her moral worth or worthlessness. There were good Reformers 
and bad Reformers ; and, as far as I can see, their religious 
opinions neither made them good nor made them bad. It 
was not his views on the Church — which it would be difficult 
to define apart from his views on his own infallible perfection 
— that made Henry a bad man. 

Anne Boleyn's fate in history has been more extraordinary 
than that of the mass of her contemporaries, in that the esti- 
mate of her formed by her religious opponents has not only 
been perpetuated by those who are antagonized by her 
Lutheranism,* but also to a large extent accepted by writers 
whom one has no reason to suspect of such prejudice. Even 
the monstrous tales of Nicholas Sanders have been given 
credit, down to the present day, by historians who have no 
interest, as Sanders had, in traducing the characters of Anne 
and her daughter Elizabeth with any lie which might serve 
the purpose. Why ? It is incomprehensible ; except that 

* The enduring nature of the religious hatred against Anne, outside 
literature, is illustrated by the facts mentioned in " Notes and Queries " 
some sixty years ago (2nd Series, Vol. VI., page 525, and 3rd Series, Vol. 
IV., pages 245, 504) that " Anna Bolena " was used as a term of op- 
probrium in Spain and elsewhere, and that in Sicily her soul was 
popularly supposed to be confined under Etna — a strange successor 
to the Titan Enceladus ! 

Whether it is a compensation that " Anna Bolena " was the name 
of the filly which won the Poule des Pouliches at Longchamps this 
year, is doubtful. 



to reject the oft-repeated tales of history seems to require an 
effort too great for the intellectual indolence of most of us. 

Of course, it is quite possible to dismiss Anne Boleyn's 
religious opinions and still to regard her as a bad woman. 
Whether or not this is a just view depends on a careful examina- 
tion of the evidence. That is what I have striven after. I do 
not hold with Bishop Burnet, that, if an historian " but 
slightly touches the failings of his friends, and severely 
aggravates those of the other side," it does not blacken him. 
If, therefore, I have passed over any evidence against Anne, 
it has not been of intent. In the pages which follow, the con- 
clusion to which I have come (concerning the worth of which 
I expect no one else to have any illusions) may stand forth. 

If three lines only were allowed in which to sum up the 
character of Anne Boleyn, I would choose those which 
Euripides puts into the mouth of Medea : 

MtjScic fii (pavXriv icacrSivrj vop.iZir<o 
/xtjS' r}<rv\aiav, aXXa Sarepov rpoirov, 
fiapeiav l\^polg ical (piXoiaiv ev/HEvrj. 

But Anne had withal, it is evident even through the clouds of 
the Sixteenth Century, more feminine charm than Euripides 
has attributed to the Princess of Colchis. 

Philip W. Sergeant. 

St. John's Wood, 
October ist, 1923. 

Note. — Acknowledgment has, I think, been sufficiently made, in 
the body of this work, of the sources to which I have been 
indebted for information. I should like, however, to make 
special mention here of five of the more recent authors who 
have devoted attention to Anne Boleyn's history : P. 
Friedmann, J. S. Brewer, James Gairdner, J. H. Round 
and M. A. S. Hume. For not being able always to see eye 
to eye with one, or any, of these, I need not, perhaps, apolo- 
gize ; since neither do their eyes all look the same way. 



Preface v 

I. — The Boleyn Family. . . . i 

II. — Anne's Early Days ir 

III. — At the Court of England .... 25 

IV. — Mistress Anne and Queen Katharine . . 37 
V. — The Royal Lover 49 

VI. — Awaiting the Legate 65 

VII. — The Defeat of Wolsey 85 

VIII. — The Boleyns' Triumph 103 

IX. — The Break with Rome 116 

X. — Fighting Home Opposition .... 132 

XI. — The Marchioness of Pembroke . . . 146 

XII. — Anne makes her Marriage .... 159 

XIII. — The Coronation Festivities . 171 

XIV. — The Birth of Elizabeth 186 

XV. — The Approach of Danger .... 200 

XVI. — The Dawn of the Terror .... 224 

XVII. — The Death of Katharine of Aragon . . 244 

XVIII. — The Plot against Anne 257 

XIX. — The Mine explodes 269 

XX. — Trial and Death 283 

Appendix A. — Anne and Mary Boleyn .... 301 
Appendix B. — The Age of George Boleyn, Viscount 

Rochford 304 

Appendix C. — The Death of Anne Boleyn's Mother . 306 

Appendix D. — Letters of Anne and Thomas Boleyn . 308 

Index a, 311 

ix b 


Anne Boleyn Frontispiece 

From the painting by an unknown artist in the National 
Portrait Gallery. 

Mary Tudor, the French Queen .... Facing p. 14 
From a painting, of the French School, in the National 

Thomas Boleyn, afterwards Earl of Wiltshire and 
Ormonde 24 
From the portrait by Holbein. 

Henry VIII 40 

From the painting by Holbein at the New Palace of 

Thomas Wyatt 62 
From an engraving by Bartolozxi or Cadon, after Holbein's 
portrait at Windsor. 

Pope Clement VII „ 92 

From an engraving by Maloeuvre, after Titian's painting. 

Thomas, Cardinal Wolsey . . . . ,, 114 

From the painting by an unknown artist in the National 
Portrait Gallery. 

Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre . . . „ 142 
From an engraving by N. H. Jacob. 

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury . . „ 160 
From the painting by Gerlach Flick in the National Portrait 

Thomas Howard, Third Duke of Norfolk . . 170 
From the painting by Holbein, in the Royal Collection at 

Francis I „ 188 

From the painting, after Titian, in the Louvre. 

Mary Tudor, Daughter of Henry VIII. . . . ,, 208 
From the painting by an unknown artist in the National 
Portrait Gallery. 

Thomas Cromwell, afterwards Earl of Essex . . „ 232 
From an engraving by Houbraken, after a painting by 

Jane Seymour ........ 246 

From an engraving by W. Bond, after Holbein's painting 
in the Duke of Bedford's collection. 

Katharine of Aragon . . . . . „ 256 

From the painting, probably after Johannes Corvus, in the 
National Portrait Gallery. 

Anne Boleyn „ 284 

From an engraving by Houbraken, after a painting by 





THE story of the hapless second wife of Henry 
VIII., the mother of England's greatest Queen, 
begins with a mystery which has given rise to 
controversy of considerable proportions. There is no 
reasonable doubt as to her parentage ; for the infamous 
suggestion of Nicholas Sanders* is not in need of refuta- 
tion to-day. The date of her birth, however, and her 
position in the order of the Boleyn family are matters 
of opinion, apparently incapable of definite con- 

Thomas Boleyn, the father of Anne, came of an 
old Norfolk family, for which, after her rise to tem- 
porary splendour, a Norman origin was claimed, 
to the disgust of many people at Court. At any rate, 
the first of the fine to bring it into prominence was 
Geoffrey Boleyn, variously stated to have been the 
son or the grandson of Thomas Boleyn, of Salle, Norfolk, 
and Anne, daughter of Sir John Bracton, a Norfolk 
knight. Geoffrey seems to have been brought up 
to London by his father and apprenticed to the trade 

* See page 19 (note). 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

of a mercer. He succeeded in business, and in 1424 
was Master of the Mercers' Company, while in 1457 
he was Lord Mayor of London, being then a knight. 
Moreover, he made a good marriage, taking to wife 
Anne, daughter of Lord Hoo and Hastings. With 
her he probably acquired money, as he certainly did 
in one way and another ; for when he died in 1471 
he left £1,000 in London charities. He was buried 
at the church of St. Lawrence Pountney. 

Sir Geoffrey and his wife had a son William, who 
was born about 145 1. In the " Calendar of Inquisi- 
tions post Mortem M of the reign of Henry VII. 
are two entries concerning a certain Thomas Hoo, 
owner of the manor of Offeley, Hertfordshire, who 
died on October 8th, i486. The manor, it appears, 
had been remaindered to Anne, wife of Geoffrey 
Boleyn, and, she being dead, it thus came to her son. 
In the second entry, a writ dated October 17th, 1487, 
it is stated that " Wm. Boleyn, knt., aged 36 and more, 
is his [Thomas Hoo's] cousin and heir, viz., son of 
Anne, daughter of Lord de Hoo and Hastynges, his 

William Boleyn had been knighted by Richard III. 
at his coronation. He was, no doubt, a fairly rich 
man on his father's death, when he himself was only 
twenty. Somewhere about the beginning of 
Henry VII. 's reign, he made a good marriage, with 
Margaret Butler, daughter of Sir Thomas Ormonde, 
as he was at the time styled, afterwards seventh Earl 
of Ormonde. This marriage was good from the 
point of view of blood, and it was destined to be good 
from that of money also ; but, at the time when Sir 
William Boleyn married, his father-in-law's family 

The Boleyn Family 


were under attainder, he was a younger son, and his 
pecuniary resources were for long so poor that he 
was even compelled to borrow money from his son-in- 
law. The latter, however, could afford to lend, and 
by doing so he certainly did not lose in the long run, 
after Ormonde became the seventh Earl, more 
especially when he died and left to his two daughters 
his considerable estates in England. 

In the same " Calendar of Inquisitions post Mortem " 
already quoted is a writ dated November 29th, 1485, 
in connection with the death of Anne, wife of " Thomas 
Ormond, knt." which states that ** Anne, wife of J as. 
Selynger [i.e., St. Leger], Esq., aged 23 and more, 
and Margaret, wife of William Bolyn, knt., aged 20 
and more, are their daughters and heirs." The age 
thus assigned to Margaret Boleyn is a puzzle ; for we 
know by Thomas Boleyn's own statement, at the 
time of the divorce proceedings between Henry VIII. 
and Katharine of Aragon in 1529, that he was then 
fifty-two years of age.* He must, therefore, have 
been born about 1477, so that his mother could not 
possibly have been but twenty in 1485. Thomas 
Boleyn was the eldest, or at least eldest surviving, 
son of his parents. His first public appearance was 
in 1497, when he accompanied his father in arms 
against the Cornish rebels who were threatening 

In 1505 Sir William Boleyn died. In the " Calendar 
of Patent Rolls " of Henry VII. is a license, dated 
February, 1506, of " entry without proof of age for 
Thomas Boleyn, esquire, son and heir of William 

* See Deposition of Thomas, Viscount Rochford, at the Friars 
Minors, July 15th, 1529, in " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII. '* 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Boleyn, knight, deceased, tenant in chief on all the 
lands of the said William in England, Wales, Calais 
or Ireland." Dame Margaret Boleyn was still alive ; 
but Thomas was now a rich man, with the properties 
left to him by his father. This made a very con- 
siderable difference to him, as we may gather from a 
letter which he wrote over thirty years later to Thomas 
Cromwell. The Earl of Wiltshire, as he had then 
become, said : " When I married I had only 50/. 
a year to live on for me and my wife as long as my 
father lived, and yet she brought me every year a 
child."* This is an interesting sidelight on the early 
circumstances of a man of whom the French diploma- 
tist Gabriel de Grammont, Bishop of Tarbes, was 
later to quote the Bishop of Worcester as saying that 
" he would sooner act from interest than from any 
other motive," and who proved the truth of this verdict 
throughout his career. 

Unfortunately for the historians, the Earl of Wilt- 
shire did not mention to Cromwell how long he was 
married before his father's death raised him above 
an income of £50 a year ; and so we are without 
knowledge as to when plain Thomas Boleyn took to 
wife the Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Thomas, 
afterwards second Duke of Norfolk. He kept up the 
family tradition of aristocratic marriages. But, lest 
it should surprise us that Thomas Boleyn, even with 
his expectation of riches some day, should be able 
to make a match with a family connected with royalty 
itself, it must be remembered that Thomas Howard 
was in prison for four years after the battle of Bos- 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII. ,"- Vol. XI., page 13. This letter 
is quoted again below, page 289M. 

The Boleyn Family 


worth, and on his release in 1489 was only restored 
to the earldom of Surrey, not being allowed to take 
the dukedom of Norfolk until twenty-five years 
later. Nor was he wealthy yet. Therefore, Thomas 
Boleyn, like his father, made somewhat of a matri- 
monial gamble, marrying blood, with a possibility of 
money to come later. 

In the Pardon Roll of the first year of Henry VIII. 
Thomas Boleyn appears as of Blickling, Norfolk, 
Hever, Kent, New Inn without Temple Bar, and 
Hoo, Bedfordshire ; while in the Patent Rolls 
two years earlier he is described as " yeoman of the 
crown " in connection with the port of " Lenne," 
Norfolk. When the new reign began he had the 
position of a man of property, and the scene was set 
for his climbing ambition. 

Such was Anne Boleyn's ancestry ; and it can 
be seen, therefore, that her family could scarcely 
with fairness be described as " upstarts," even if 
the pretensions to a Norman origin were more shadowy 
than, say, the Tudor claims to derivation from Welsh 

When we come to the question of Anne's birth, 
we are no longer in clear regions. It is very remark- 
able that there should be such doubts as there are 
with regard to the age of a lady who was for over 
three years Queen of England. Camden, the historian 
of her daughter Elizabeth, states that she was born 
in 1507 ; and, though he himself was not born until 
fifteen years after Anne's death, he is an authority 
who cannot easily be rejected. Moreover, a writer 
named Henry Clifford, who was at one time in the 
service of old Lady Jane Dormer, a friend of Queen 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Mary, distinctly states that Anne at the time of her 
execution was not twenty-nine years of age. Clifford 
was not born until about 1570 ; but his patroness was 
born in 1538 and thus establishes a link with the 
reign of Henry VIII. Clifford, doubtless, preserves 
the Dormer family tradition — which in other respects 
was decidedly unfavourable to Anne Boleyn. 

These two writers are the only ones who give a 
date, and their statements harmonize. Unfortunately, 
however, a very strong conflict of evidence is found 
on the point whether Anne was younger or older 
than her sister Mary, they being variously described 
in the nearest approach which we get to contemporary 
documents.* The matter is of importance with regard 
to Anne's age. If she were the elder she must have 
been born earlier than 1507, because of what we know 
about Mary Boleyn. Eminent modern historical 
writers are seriously divided on the question, and 
it is only with extreme diffidence that one can agree 
with some and differ from the others. On the whole, 
the balance of probabilities seems to be in favour 
of (he view that Mary was the elder sister, as will 
apj ear in the course of the next chapter. 

Thomas and Elizabeth Boleyn had one other child 
that grew up besides these two daughters, namely, a 
son George, afterwards Viscount Rochford, who died 
on Tower Hill on May 17th, 1536. His age relative 
to his sisters is nowhere stated. A poem written 
on the occasion of his death says that before he was 
twenty-seven he was " preferred into the privy coun- 
cell ; but a record of his first preferment to the 
Council is wanting. He was of the King's privy 

"^See Appendix A. f See Appendix B. 

The Boleyn Family 


chamber at least as early as 1525, but this can scarcely 
be what the poem refers to. If he was of the 
Council, it would not have been before he became 
Viscount Rochford, after his father's attainment 
of the earldom of Wiltshire at the end of 1529. This 
would make him born not ear her than 1503. Whether 
he was the " Master Bollyn " who appears imme- 
diately after " Master Sir Thos. Bollyn " in the Revel 
Accounts for the mummery on Christmas Day, 1514,* 
is uncertain. 

It is variously claimed that Anne was born on her 
father's property at Blickling, Norfolk, which her 
great-grandfather had purchased from the well-known 
Sir John Fastolf, and on his other estate at Hever, 
Kent, also first acquired for the family by Geoffrey 
Boleyn. There is nothing beyond tradition to support 
either claim. Blickling, it is true, used to be haunted, 
in popular legend, by Anne's ghost, as also used the 
old church at Salle, whence Geoffrey's father came 
to start the fortunes of the Boleyns in London. What 
the ghost did, however, is not evidence. 

By her name Anne recalled at least two of her 
ancestors, Anne Bracton and Anne Hoo, as well as 
one of her father's sisters and her grand-aunt, Anne 
St. Leger. 

If we accept the date 1507 as the date of her birth, 
Anne Boleyn was about two when Henry VIII., 
aged eighteen, ascended the throne of England. 
Thomas Boleyn was then " Squire for the Body " 
to the new King, in which capacity he figured at the 
funeral of Henry VII. With his wife he was present 
at the coronation of Henry VIII., Elizabeth Boleyn's 

• " Letters and Papers, Henry VUI.» a Vol. II., page 1501. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

name appearing among the Baronesses in the list of 
the Queen's Chamber. A tangible proof of his master's 
favour, the start of which is unknown, had already 
come to Thomas Boleyn. On June 22nd, he was among 
the twenty-six honourable persons ordered to repair 
to the Tower of London to serve the King at dinner 
and to bear dishes, " in token that they shall never 
bear none after that day ; " for on the morrow they 
were made Knights of the Bath. The Tower of 
London, which was to have such sinister associations 
with the name of Boleyn, saw the courtier Sir Thomas 
firmly set on his upward career. 

In connection with Lady Boleyn, a curious point 
must be noted. Miss Strickland, in her " Lives of 
the Queens of England," misreading a note by Thorns 
the antiquarian on a story told about Queen Elizabeth 
by Sir Nicholas L' Estrange, and combining this error 
with a wrong date given in a privately printed memorial 
of the Howard family, made Elizabeth Howard die 
in 15 1 2 and her husband marry at some subsequent 
unknown date u a Norfolk woman of humble origin."* 
Thus she furnished Anne Boleyn with a stepmother, 
to whom " there is reason to believe Anne was tenderly 
attached " and by whom she was " much beloved." 
Other writers have followed Miss Strickland's mistake. 
But, apart from the constant allusions in contemporary 
documents to Lady (or Dame) Boleyn after 1512, 
and subsequently to Lady Wiltshire, as Anne's mother, 
we cannot get away from the fact that the Lady 
Wiltshire who died on April 3rd, 1538, was interred 
in the Howard aisle of Lambeth church four days 
later. In the Record Office there is preserved a letter 

* See Appendix C. 

The Boleyn Family 


from one John Husee to Lady Lisle, dated April gth, 
1538, which says, " My Lady Wiltshire was buried 
at Lamehithe on the 7th ; " and there was formerly 
on a tomb in the Howard aisle the inscription, " Eliza- 
beth Howard, some time Countess of Wiltshire." 

We may dismiss Anne Boleyn' s stepmother, there- 
fore, as a fiction, and restore a mother, daughter of 
one and sister of another Duke of Norfolk, who survived 
her daughter by nearly two years. With regard 
to her character, we have really no authentic informa- 
tion ; but her notions of maternal responsibility would 
certainly seem to have been lax, though in that respect 
she was not a rare exception in her times. 

It is a fact that, as Miss Strickland says, Sir Thomas 
Boleyn' s name is never mentioned in the ** Howard- 
book." The book referred to is an account-book 
at Tendring Hall, Suffolk, the chief country residence 
of Thomas, Earl of Surrey, afterward third Duke of 
Norfolk. Amongst other details recorded in this 
book were the names of presumably all the visitors 
to the house between 1513 and 1524, when the Earl 
succeeded to the dukedom. If the list of names 
is complete, then the Boleyns never visited Tendring 
Hall during the whole of the eleven years. But this 
is very far from showing that Sir Thomas Boleyn's 
absence was due to the fact that his wife had died and 
he had remarried. It is abundantly clear that there 
was an antipathy between the brothers-in-law, and 
that the Duke of Norfolk was subsequently at enmity 
not only with his sister's husband, but also with at 
least one of her children. This will appear later ; 
but we may quote here what Norfolk wrote when he 
was a prisoner in the Tower in 1546 and was only 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

saved from execution by the death of Henry VIII. 
Addressing the Lords of the Council, Norfolk then 
said : " What malice both my nieces that it pleased 
the King's Highness to marry did bear me is not 
unknown to such Lords as kept them in this house, 

as my Lady , my Lady Tyrwhitt, my Lady 

Kingston and others ; which heard what they said 
of me." Anne Boleyn and Katharine Howard had 
truly little cause to love their uncle, well described 
in the " Dictionary of National Biography " as " hot- 
tempered, self-seeking and brutal." 

It is not improbable that a difference of religious 
views alienated the Boleyns and Norfolk. Of Thomas 
Boleyn, his son George, and the more celebrated of 
his daughters we know that they, for one cause or 
another, developed sympathy with the Reformers. 
Norfolk was a steadfast supporter of the Church j 
though, as we shall see, he allowed himself great lati- 
tude of speech concerning the Pope. Lady Boleyn's 
attitude is a matter of conjecture ; but her close 
association with Anne for so many years of her 
life makes it seem probable that she inclined rather 
to her husband's opinions than to her brother's. The 
attack upon her reputation made by Nicholas Sanders 
encourages this view. 


anne's early days 

FOR the first seven years of her life at least, we 
hear nothing concerning Anne Boleyn. Lord 
Herbert of Cherbury, who published his " Life and 
Raigne of King Henry the Eighth " in 1649, an( i, 
therefore, was very far from being a first-hand authority, 
preserves what we may, perhaps, call the Elizabethan 
tradition of Anne's early years. " This Gentlewoman," 
he says, " was from her childhood of that singular 
beauty and towardnesse that her Parents took all care 
possible for her good education. Therefore, besides 
the ordinary parts of vertuous instructions, wherewith 
shee was liberally brought up, they gave her teachers 
in playing on musicall Instruments, singing and 
dancing ; Insomuch that when she composed her 
hands to play and voice to Sing, it was joyned with 
that sweetnesse of countenance that three harmonies 
concurr'd ; likewise, when she danced, her rare 
proportions varied themselves into all the graces that 
belong either to Rest or Motion." 

That Anne Boleyn had a taste for music (which was, 
no doubt, part cause of Henry's attraction to her) 
and was a good dancer, is supported from other sources ; 
and we may accept Lord Herbert's rather flowery 
description as in the main correct. We have not, 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

however, much that throws light on " the ordinary 
parts of vertuous instructions, wherewith shee was 
liberally brought up." Such of her letters as survive, 
apart from the very early one in French which is 
quoted below, seem to indicate ability of expression 
with the pen ; and, seeing that she received her 
finishing education at the polished Court of France, 
we may presume that she was fully up to the standard 
of her age when she returned to England, whatever 
her attainments had previously been. 

With the advent of the year 15 14 the perplexities 
with regard to Anne's early life thicken. Her father 
had been making steady progress in his career. In 
151 1 he was appointed Governor of Norwich Castle, 
in conjunction with Sir Henry Wyatt. In 15 12 he 
was sent on a mission to the Low Countries with the 
Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Young, and Sir Robert Wingfield, 
in connection with the scheme for an alliance with 
the Emperor Maximilian against France. In Brussels 
Boleyn met that remarkable woman, the twice-widowed 
Margaret of Austria, who governed the Low Countries 
for her father, and who wrote to him in October 
mentioning the visit of the u sieur de Boullan " and 
his two colleagues. The upshot of this meeting was 
that Boleyn arranged to place one of his daughters 
with the Princess Margaret ; and a letter of the 
Princess's is preserved, in which she speaks ot this 
daughter's arrival in Brussels : 

" I have received your letter by the Esquire Bouton, 
who presented to me your daughter, who was very 
welcome to me, and I hope to treat her in such a 
fashion that you will have reason to be content with 


Anne's Early Days 


it • at least be sure that until your return there need 
be no other intermediary between you and me than 
she ; and I find her of such good address and so pleasing 
in her youthful age that I am more beholden to you 
for having sent her to me than you are to me."* 

In a list of the maids of honour to Margaret of 
Austria the name of M Bullan " occurs. It has been 
assumed by some writers that this was none other 
than Anne Boleyn ; but that is only probable if 
Anne was Boleyn's elder daughter and born before 
the date assigned by Camden and Clifford ; and, 
even then, it would be very strange that none of her 
contemporaries mention a sojourn with the celebrated 
Margaret of Austria, whereas so many references 
exist to her education in France. It seems better to 
suppose that it was Mary Boleyn who went to Brussels, 
some time after her father's return to England. 

In 1513 Sir Thomas accompanied Henry VIII. 
to the war in France, taking with him a retinue of 
men ; and when peace came about further honours 
awaited him and his family. Part of the price of 
peace was the marriage of the King's sister Mary 
to the old King Louis XII. of France. Mary asked 
Boleyn that one of his daughters should go in her 
suite to France, and he wrote in all haste to Margaret 
of Austria. This letter, dated from " the Royal Court 
of Grynewiche," August 14th, 1514, has been preserved, 
and is a very curious document, in very curious 
French. | Boleyn says that his treschiere et tres 

* A. J. G. Le Glay, " Correspondance de l'Empereur Maximilien I>r 
et de Marguerite d'Autriche." Le Glay gives no date for this extract. 
He also mentions the list of the maids of honour. 

t See Appendix D. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

redoubtee dame will be very pleased to know the sister 
of the King his master, Madame Marie, Queen affianced 
of France, desires to have with her his daughter, 
la petitte boulain, who is at present with her, and 
therefore he very humbly begs his tres redoubtee dame 
to be pleased to give and grant his daughter leave 
to return with his people whom he has sent to 

La petitte boulain must have hurried over from 
Brussels to England on receipt of this letter, for in 
October, 15 14, Mary Tudor left Dover for France, 
and in her suite was a Boleyn. The list of " Gentle- 
women which were appointed to have abidden in 
France with the French Queen " reads as follows : 

" Dame Guylford, lady of honor, Lady Eliza- 
beth Grey, Eliz. Ferrys, M. Ann Devereux, Grey 

of Wilton, M. Boleyne, M. Wotton, Alice Denys and 
Anne Jerningham, chamberers." 

Again, a list of those who were retained by the old 
King to do service to his wife when, on the day after 
their marriage, he dismissed the rest of her suite, 
shows the following six names : 

" Mesdemoiselles Grey, Mary Finis, Elizabeth [Grey], 
Madamoyselle Boleyne, Maistres Anne Jenyngham, 
femme de chambre, and Jeanne Barnesse, chamberiere." 

The poor new Queen of France was very distressed 
at this dismissal of her ladies, and wrote to her brother 
that she had lost all " except such as never had experiens 
nor knowlech how to advertyse or gyfe me counsell 
yn any tyme of nede," particularly lamenting the 
departure of "my mother Guldeford" (Dame or 
Lady Jane Guildford), whom Henry and Cardinal 
Wolsey had advised her to consult in everything* 

om a painting, of the French School, in the National Ga 

JVIary Tudor, the French Queen. 

To face p. 14. 

Anne's Early Days 


An amusing letter has been preserved,* in which the 
Earl of Worcester writes to give Louis's explanation 
of the dismissal, as made to him. If his wife needed 
counsel or to be ruled, the King said, he was able to 
do it. As soon as Lady Guildford landed in France, 
she began to take upon her not only to rule the Queen, 
but also to prevent her coming to him except in the 
presence of herself. So she began to " set a murmur 
and banding among ladies of the Court." Never man 
better loved his wife, declared Louis, but before he 
would have such a woman about her he would liefer 
be without her ! 

So the six names in the second list above are those 
of the less experienced in Queen Mary's original suite. 
Who, then, was the " Madamoyselle Boleyne," who 
was among those exempted from Louis's ban upon 
his wife's gentlewomen ? Apparently the same as 
la petitte boulain, who had been fetched from Brussels 
to attend on Mary Tudor. Now we have seen reason 
to believe that it was Mary Boleyn who went to the 
Court of Margaret of Austria ; and therefore we might 
assume that it is she whose name appears in the two 
lists quoted. As a matter of fact, we do know that 
Mary Boleyn was in France in her youth. This 
question was settled definitely by Professor James 
Gairdner's discovery of a letter written on March ioth, 
1536, from the Bishop of Faenza, papal nuncio in 
France, reporting to Rome certain scandal about the 
English Court, in which he said that " that woman " 
(Anne Boleyn) had pretended to have miscarried of a 
son when she was not really with child at all, and 

* Both these letters are printed in Ellis's " Original Letters,'- 8 the 
Queen's in 1st Series, Vol. L, Worcester's in 2nd Series, Vol. L 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

that to keep up the deceit she would allow no one to 
attend on her but her sister, whom the French King 
knew when she was in France per una grandissima 
ribalda et infame sopra tutte. The Bishop was not 
telling the truth about the miscarriage ; but that 
is no reason for doubting him when he says that Mary 
Boleyn had been known at the French Court. 

Nevertheless, a strong attempt has been made to 
identify the " Madamoyselle Boleyne " who accom- 
panied Mary Tudor in 15 14 with Anne. Certainly 
the evidence looks good. A verse " Epitre " relating 
to the trial and execution of Anne appeared in manu- 
script just after her death in 1536, though it was not 
printed till nine years later. In this the author, who 
is supposed to be L. D. Carles, Bishop of Riez, says 
that it is well known that " Anne Boullant first left 
this country [England] when Marie departed from it 
to go to seek the King in France, to accomplish the 
alliance between the two Kings." 

Then a sixteenth century writer, Charles de Bourge- 
ville, who wrote a sort of diary under the name of 
" Recherches et Antiquites de la Province de Neustrie," 
published in 1583, mentions in an entry for the year 
I 533 " a lady named Anne Boullene who had been 
brought up in France and came there when King 
Louis XII. married Queen Marie, sister of the King 
of England." 

Finally, Lord Herbert says of Anne : 

" She had liv'd some time in France, whither, in the 
Train of the French Queen and company of a sister of 
the Marquis Dorset, shee went Anno Domini 15 14." 

And again : 

" Mistris Anne Bolen went to France with Mary 

Anne's Early Days 


the French Queen 15 14 (as is proved by divers prin- 
cipal Authors, both English and French, besides the 
Manuscripts I have seen)." 

A solution of the difficulty has been proposed, that 
both sisters went to France in 15 14, but that only 
the elder was included among the Queen's gentlewomen, 
the other being too young to hold such a position. 
Alternatively, it is suggested that Anne really went 
later, but that there was quite early a confusion 
between the dates of their visits, so that Mary's date 
was erroneously attributed to Anne. 

It might appear that all this discussion about the 
identity of the " Madam oyselle Boleyne " who attended 
Mary Tudor is superfluous ; but it will be seen that it 
is of the utmost importance to the character of Anne 
that she should not be called upon to bear the load 
of her sister's misdeeds, which her enemies did their 
best to make her bear. 

There is in existence an actual letter written by Anne 
to her father, and preserved at Corpus Christi College, 
Cambridge (to which it was bequeathed by her chap- 
lain), in which Anne seems to allude to an impending 
visit to the French Court. It is, unfortunately, un- 
dated, but is obviously a childish production, written in 
extraordinary French, with evidence from the spelling 
of having been taken down by Anne from dictation by 
the person who is called by her Semmonet. She writes : 

" Sir, — I understand by your letter that you desire 
that I shall be a worthy woman when I come to the 
Court and you inform me that the Queen will take 
the trouble to converse with me, which rejoices me 
much to think of talking with a person so wise and 
worthy. This will make me have greater desire to 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

continue to speak French well and also spell, especially 
because you have so enjoined it on me, and with my 
own hand I inform you that I will observe it the best 
I can. Sir, I beg you to excuse me if my letter is 
badly written, for I assure you that the orthography 
is from my own understanding alone, while the others 
were only written by my hand, and Semmonet tells 
me the letter but waits so that I may do it myself, 
for fear that it shall not be known unless I acquaint you, 
and I pray you that the light of [?] may not be allowed 
to drive away the will which you say you have to 
help me, for it seems to me that you are sure [??] 
you can, if you please, make me a declaration of your 
word, and concerning me be certain that there shall 
be neither [??] nor ingratitude which might check 
or efface my affection, which is determined to [?] 
as much unless it shall please you to order me, and 
I promise you that my love is based on such great 
strength that it will never grow less, and I will make 
an end to my [?] after having commended myself 
right humbly to your good grace. Written at [? 
Veure] by 

" Your very humble and very obedient daughter, 

" Anna de Boullan." 

The translation is, naturally, conjectural in parts.* 
The place from where the letter was written, apparently 
Veure, has been assumed to be Hever, though Pro- 
fessor Gairdner has suggested V eure (5 heures), five 

Whatever help this letter gives us as showing that 
Anne Boleyn, at an early age, was going to meet 

* See Appendix D for the French. 

Anne's Early Days 19 

the French Queen, it does not aid us to determine the 
year or the occasion. It is consistent with the suppo- 
sition that she went to Mary Tudor in France at the 
age of seven ; but it does not preclude the possibility 
of her having gone later. What is certain is that, if 
she went to Mary in France, she must have gone in 15 14, 
for at the very beginning of 15 15 Louis XII. died, and 
Mary returned to England with the task of reconciling 
her brother to her sudden secret marriage to the man 
of her heart, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. 

The " Epitre " in verse, which appeared immediately 
after Anne's death, says that when the widowed Queen 
Mary returned to England Anne was kept in France 
by the new Queen, Claude, wife of Francis I. Similarly 
Lord Herbert of Cherbury says that she was" received 
in a place of much honour with the other Queen/' 

Now we come to the testimony, if such it may 
be called, of Nicholas Sanders, styled by an opponent, 
not unjustly, "Dr. Slanders," who refrained from 
no evil-speaking which might damage the reputation 
of Queen Elizabeth and her mother. In his Latin 
tract, " De Origine Schismatis Anglicani," he says 
that at the age of fifteen* Anne Boleyn had so dis- 

* This figure is interesting in view of Sanders's amiable theory, 
which he adopted even if he did not invent, that Anne Boleyn was 
really a daughter of Henry VIII., not of Thomas Boleyn. Now 
Henry was only born in 1491 ; so that Sanders, by making Anne 
go to France at the age at which we know she really left that country, 
makes his theory still more grotesque. David Lewis, Sanders's editor 
in 1877, evidently saw the difficulty of reconciling Anne's age with 
the theory, for he put the date of Anne's birth as late as 1510 or 1511, 
which would make her visit to France as late as 1525 or 1526 — a 
beautiful example of ingenuity (?) defeating itself ! See what is said 
in the Preface with regard to religious rancour and the perversion 
of Tudor history. 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

graced herself by profligacy at home that she was 
sent to France and at the expense of the King 
[Henry VIII.] placed under the care of a certain 
nobleman at a place which has variously been ren- 
dered by Sanders's translators as Brie and Briare. 
Soon afterwards, he continues, she appeared at the 
French Court, where he relates that her shameless 
behaviour got her the name of u the English mare," 
etc., and then, after alleging an intimacy with King 
Francis, he concludes : " She embraced the heresy 
of Luther to make her life and opinions consistent." 
Truly the scorpion's sting is in the tail ! 

Sanders lived from 1527 to 1581, and was nine 
when Anne was executed. He could not, therefore, 
and did not, claim first-hand knowledge of what he 
was writing about the unhappy lady. The character 
of his aspersions on her is such as to arouse wonder 
that any unprejudiced reader could pay attention 
to them. Yet historians claiming to be above pre- 
judice have given them credence, so that it has been 
necessary to refer to them here. It remains to be 
seen what made it possible for the story of Anne's 
conduct in France to be so put about. 

We cannot well rescue the character of Mary Boleyn, 
though a still existing letter by her, quoted later 
on, indicates a not altogether unamiable personality. 
But there is the evidence of the Bishop of Faenza, 
written as early as March, 1536, as to her bad character 
when at the French Court ; and there is the fact of 
her relations with Henry VIII., which we must ap- 
parently accept on his own confession. If what the 
Bishop wrote had at least a grain of truth in it, it is 
easy to see that Sanders may have transferred his 

Anne's Early Days 


story of " the English mare " from Mary to Anne, 
not being concerned to attack the less famous sister, 
but eager to seize on any weapon against Anne. 

Mary Boleyn had left France by February, 1520, 
for on the 4th of that month she was married to William 
Carey, a grandson of the Devonshire knight Sir 
William Carey, who was beheaded after the battle of 
Tewkesbury, and a gentleman of King Henry's privy 
chamber. In the King's Book of Payments for 
the month we find a quaint entry, " The King's 
offering on Saturday [4th February], at the marriage 
of Mr. Care and Mary Bullayn, 6s. 8d."* At the 
Field of the Cloth of Gold, in the same year, the list 
of Squires for the Body to the King included " Wm. 
Carey in the Inner Chamber," while " Mistress Cary " 
was in attendance upon Queen Katharine. 

Thus one of Sir Thomas Boleyn's daughters, whom 
we would naturally take to be the elder, was provided 
for in England. The other remained in France. 
Queen Claude of France, as Mr. Friedmann points 
out, was a very good woman, who took pleasure in 
superintending the education of girls and had large 
numbers of them at Court, under the tuition of the 
best masters. With her, according to the verse 
" Epitre," Anne " so improved her graces that you 
would never have judged her English in her fashions, 
but native French." How long she remained with 
Claude we do not know ; but Lord Herbert records 
that she went from her to the Duchess of Alencon 
— the famous Marguerite de Valois, sister of King 

* Another curious entry is in the King's Book of Payments for 
1 5 19 : "To young Carre, on Twelfth Eve, playing money for the 
King, 1000 cr., at 4s. 2d.' 1 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Francis — " where she stayed until some difference 
grew between our King and Francis ; therefore, 
as saith Du Tillet, and our Records, about the time 
when our Students at Paris were remanded she like- 
wise left France." We find, indeed, Francis writing 
in January, 1522, that the English seemed by various 
indications to be intending war with France, and that 
the English scholars at Paris and the daughter of 
" Mr. Boullan " had returned to their own country.* 

There is little more known in connection with Anne's 
stay in France. Her father in 15 18 was on a mission 
to France, and near the beginning of 15 19 he was 
appointed English Ambassador to that country, from 
which he did not return until the following March, 
after his other daughter's marriage to Carey. He 
was again in France for the Field of the Cloth of Gold, 
as were Lady Boleyn, in attendance upon the Queen, 
and the Careys. Anne must have seen something of 
her family during these visits. Some writers indeed, 
rejecting the story that she went to the French Court 
in 15 14, would make out that she was taken over by 
her father in 1518 or 1519; but we have seen the 
evidence in favour of the date 15 14. 

In 1520 we hear of a scheme to marry the son of 
the Earl of Ormonde to the daughter of Sir Thomas 
Boleyn — which daughter must be Anne, for it was in 
September that Henry VIII. himself wrote to the 
Earl of Surrey in Ireland on the subject ; and Mary 
Boleyn, we know, was already disposed of in February. 
The Earl of Ormonde in question was the former Sir 
Piers Butler. His kinsman, the seventh Earl, Anne's 
great-grandfather, had died in 1515, and the daughters, 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.,"- Vol. III., 1994. 

Anne's Early Days 23 

Dames Anne St. Leger and Margaret Boleyn, had a 
dispute with Sir Piers, who as heir-male claimed the 
title. He also seized the Irish estates, to which they 
asserted their rights as co-heiresses of their father. 
Now Sir Piers was looked upon by the English Govern- 
ment as useful in the struggle with " the wild Irish," 
and for that reason they were unwilling to take too 
much notice of his high-handed conduct, preferring 
to try diplomacy. Whether it was Surrey or the 
King himself who first conceived the scheme, Henry 
in September, 1520, asked Surrey to ascertain whether 
the Earl of Ormonde was minded to make the marriage. 
He would himself advance the matter with Sir Thomas 
Boleyn. In the following month Surrey and the 
Council of Ireland wrote to Cardinal Wolsey, expressing 
their opinion that the marriage would be advantageous. 
The young James Butler was in England ; but, as 
Anne was still in France, they did not meet. An 
interval occurs in the correspondence. In November, 
1521, Wolsey wrote from France to the King, saying 
that on his return he would talk with him how to bring 
the match about, which would be a good pretext for 
delaying to send the Earl's son back to Ireland. (He 
was, no doubt, useful as a hostage for his father's good 
behaviour.) After this we only find one more allusion 
to the project, to which we shall come later ; but 
it was not necessarily dropped yet. Early in 1523, 
however, it must have been definitely shelved, as Piers 
Butler then, according to a letter from the Earl of 
Kildare to Henry VIII., made bonds with his former 
enemies among the Irishry and intended to maintain his 
title to the earldom, right or wrong. He was no longer 
to be kept quiet by the bait of a match for his son. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

That King Henry, apart from the diplomatic side 
of the matter, took considerable interest in the domestic 
affairs of his subject, Sir Thomas Boleyn, is obvious. 
But it must be remembered that Sir Thomas was a 
favourite of his from the beginning of his reign, and 
that he had already entrusted him with several missions 
of importance. The marks of favour were to be still 
more notably shown in the next few years ; and 
unhappily it cannot be believed that they were un- 
connected hereafter with the King's attentions first 
to one daughter and then to the other. Wolsey's 
solicitude as to Anne's marriage was due, no doubt, 
to the position which he saw the father to hold in the 
King's esteem. Also Sir Thomas was associated with 
him in his French mission in 15 21.* The great 
Cardinal had ample occasion to rue later that he had 
not succeeded in bringing about the Butler-Boleyn 

* On the relations between Sir Thomas Boleyn and the Cardinal, 
there is an instructive letter in "Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," 
Vol. III., No. 223, in which Boleyn, then on embassy in France, shows 
great anxiety lest in his absence someone else should secure the coming 
vacancy in the treasurership of the household, which he maintains 
to have been promised to him by the King. He asks Wolsey to con- 
sider what a discouragement it will be to him and his friends, to whom 
he has disclosed his hopes, if he is thus disappointed. He points out 
that if his absence is a bar to his holding the post he had better have 
stayed at home, and supposes that Wolsey has perceived some fault 
in him and therefore will promote a worthier man ! Boleyn ultimately 
got the post, but not until it had been held for a brief while by another. 

[To face p. 24. 



ANNE BOLEYN, if the date we have accepted 
for her birth be correct, was only fifteen when 
she came home to England. Very soon after she is 
found taking part in a Court revel, for which the 
bill is preserved in the Record Office.* A very re- 
markable revel it appears to have been. It was held 
in " the manor of York " — Cardinal Wolsey's house, 
York Place, Westminster — on March 4th, 1522, and 
boats were employed to bring the materials for it to 
the Cardinal's and back again. The principal feature 
was a pageant, for which was constructed a castle, 
called in the manuscript, the " Schatew vert," the 
base of which was of timber, but the battlements of 
green tinfoil, while two reams of green paper were 
used for covering the castle, etc. Items in the cost 
were hundreds of nails varying from 3d. to 5d. the 
100 ; 800 tacks at id. the 100 ; nearly i81b. of ver- 
digris at iod. a lb. ; 5 gallons of vinegar for tempering 
the verdigris, at 3d. the gallon ; 8 quarters of coal at 
4|d. a quarter, for heating the colours and " drying 
the pageant ; " and so on. The workmen's wages 
for building the castle between February 20th and 
March 4th were : carpenters and painters 8d. and 6d., 
labourers 5d. a day ; and the barge, with four oars 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.,' ! Vol. III., pages 1558-9. 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

and a steersman, to carry the pageant, cost 13s. 40I. 
for two days and two nights. 

Curious also are the items for the ladies' dresses. 
One tradesman supplied 24 yards of fine yellow satin, 
at 8s., for making 192 " resuns " for their garments, 
and 8 cauls of Venice gold for their heads, at 8s. each. 
The accounts rather mysteriously state that " these 
things remain with the French Queen, the Countess 
of Devonshire, Mistress Anne Boleyn, Mistress Karre 
[probably Mary Carey], Mistress Parker [Anne's future 
sister-in-law] " and three others. The " French 
Queen " is Mary, now wife of the Duke of Suffolk, 
who was still styled in official documents Queen Dowa- 
ger of France. Anne was, therefore, one of the seven 
ladies who took part with her former patron in one of 
the scenes of the pageant. Whether they danced, 
in their clothes with the yellow satin " resuns " and 
their cauls of Venice gold, does not appear j but there 
was a platform for the musicians in the castle. It is 
recorded that eight other silk cauls of divers colours, 
at 2s. 8d. each, were supplied ; and unfortunately 
of these three were " lost by the children of my Lord's 
chapel, by casting down out of the castle," which seems 
to show that the choristers — " twelve singing chil- 
dren " Cavendish tells us that the Cardinal had in 
his chapel — grew merry. 

The holding of the revel at York Place need cause 
no surprise, for Cavendish (who was a gentleman 
usher to Wolsey, and supplies many invaluable details 
of the events of his career) records that Henry VIII. 
used " to repair unto the Cardinal's house . . . divers 
times in the year," and that " banquets were set 
forth, with masks and mummeries, in so gorgeous 

At the Court of England 27 

a sort and costly manner that it was a heaven to 

It is perhaps time now to give some description of 
Anne, though not all the statements brought together 
are applicable to her in 1522. First we may take the 
hostile Sanders. He says : 

" Anne Boleyn was rather tall of stature, with black 
hair and an oval face of a sallowish complexion, as 
if troubled with jaundice. She had a projecting tooth 
under the upper lip, and on her right hand six fingers. 
There was a large wen under her chin, and therefore 
to hide its ugliness she wore a high dress covering her 
throat. ... She was handsome to look at [he 
continues somewhat surprisingly], with a pretty 
mouth, amusing in her way, playing well on the lute, 
and was a good dancer. She was the model and 
mirror of those at Court, for she was always well 
dressed and every day made some change in the 
fashion of her garments." 

We take next the description by George Wyatt in 
" Some Particulars of the Life of Queen Anne Boleigne," 
written towards the end of the sixteenth century.* 
Wyatt was a son of Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger, 
and thus a grandson of Sir Thomas Wyatt the poet, 
Anne's warm admirer, who ran some risk of losing 
his head for her sake in 1536. George Wyatt in his 
youth had collected notes concerning Anne, " not 
without an intent to have opposed Sanders." The 

* It is readily accessible in S. W. Singer's edition of Cavendish's 
" Life of Cardinal Wolsey," Vol. II., page 179. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

poet, no doubt, helped to inspire his grandson's en- 
thusiasm for her. The description runs : 

" In this noble imp the graces of nature graced by 
noble education seemed even at the first to have 
promised bliss unto her aftertimes. She was taken at 
that time [sc., when she first came to Court] to have 
a beauty not so whitely as clear and fresh above all 
we may esteem, which appeared much more excellent 
by her favour passing sweet and cheerful ; and these, 
both also increased by her noble presence of shape and 
fashion, representing both mildness and majesty more 
than can be expressed. There was found, indeed, 
upon the side of her nail upon one of her fingers some 
little show of a nail, which yet was so small, by the 
report of those that have seen her, as the workmaster 
seemed to leave it an occasion of greater grace to her 
hand, which, with the tip of one of her other fingers, 
might be and was usually by her hidden without any 
least blemish to it. Likewise there were said to be 
upon some parts of her body certain small moles 
incident to the clearest complexions." 

Another testimonial to Anne's looks is given by John 
Barlow, dean of Westbury, who was chaplain to 
Thomas Boleyn about the time when Anne began to 
be prominent at Court. In June, 1532, one Heyl- 
wigen, of the Emperor's Council in Brabant, met 
him at supper at the porter's lodge of the castle of 
Louvain. They discussed the two ladies for whom 
King Henry had shown such admiration, Anne Boleyn 
and Lady Tailebois. On Heylwigen asking Barlow 
whether he knew them and whether they were beautiful, 

At the Court of England 29 

worth the King leaving his wife for, Barlow replied 
that he knew them both, and that Lady Tailebois was 
eloquent, gracious and beautiful ; but the other was 
more beautiful still.* 

An Italian critic, writing of her in 1532, finds her 
M not one of the handsomest women in the world . . . 
of middling stature, dark complexion, long neck, wide 
mouth, not very full bosom . . . eyes black and 

Other references to Anne's appearance at some 
particular period will be found in their due place. 
From all that we read we can have no doubt that she 
was dark, both in hair and complexion, bearing out 
the lines about her attributed to King Francis I. : 

" Venus etait blonde, Von m'a dit : 
L'on voit bien qu'elle est brunette." 

The portrait of Anne Boleyn in the National Portrait 
Gallery supports what Sanders says of her oval face- 
The projecting tooth is not shown in this (though it 
is true that one would not expect it to be), nor is it 
mentioned by anyone except Sanders. The " six 
fingers on the right hand " are clearly derived from 
the slight deformity of one nail, of which Wyatt speaks ; 
and the " wen " is, no doubt, the exaggeration of a 
mole. We hear nowhere else of a high dress covering 
her throat. 

Moderately tall, therefore, and dark, with a good 
complexion and fine eyes, we may assume Anne Boleyn 
to have been, and her hair among her chief attrac- 
tions ; for both when she was created Marchioness 

* Ortiz to the Emperor, June 16th, 1532. (" Letters and Papers, 
Henry VIII.") 

t " Calendar of Venetian State Papers," Vol. IV., page 365. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

of Pembroke and at her coronation she wore it flowing. 
She was a strong contrast to Queen Katharine, whom 
she was destined to supplant. The latter was rather 
short, and inclined to be corpulent as she grew older. 
Her hair was fair, in spite of her Spanish extraction, 
and her complexion light. The difference between the 
two women probably had much influence with the 
King, as he tired of Katharine, six years his senior, 
and already in her thirty-seventh year at the time when 
Anne Boleyn returned to England. 

It is unnecessary to say, however, that it was not the 
attraction of Anne that began the estrangement of 
Henry from his first wife. Long before Anne's ap- 
pearance at Court, he had entered into his intrigue 
with Eleanor Blount, Lady Tailebois, who in 1519, 
bore him a son, Henry Fitzroy, afterwards Duke of 
Richmond, and thus gave him a satisfaction which 
poor Katharine, in spite of five confinements, had 
been unable to give him. The affair with Mary 
Boleyn, to mention no other (since this work is not 
a record of the amours of Henry VIII.), preceded the 
King's infatuation with her sister. The period of 
that affair is uncertain ; but it may have begun soon 
after Mary's marriage with " young Carey," of his 
privy chamber, as Mary then appears to have been 
attached to the Queen's household, accompanying 
Katharine, as we have seen, to the Field of the Cloth 
of Gold. The fact of Mary's relations with the King 
was made to assume a place of much importance in 
the last agony of her sister at the Tower ; but how 
that came about may be left to be related in its proper 

We have seen the appearance of Mistress Anne 

At the Court of England 31 

Boleyn at the revel at York Place in March, 1522, 
attested by a still existing document of the time. 
Then she disappears again, with no further clue as to 
how or whither she went than is afforded by Cavendish, 
the gentleman usher and biographer of Cardinal 
Wolsey. Fortunately we have no reason to doubt 
Cavendish's general good-faith in his account of the 
matter ; and it is possible to make the account square, 
as regards dates, with what seems to be the likely 
course of Anne's life following her return from France. 

Cavendish, moralizing on the downfall of his master, 
after his attainment of that splendid position of whose 
pomps and luxuries he gives so vivid a picture, con- 
jectures that Fortune " began to wax something 
wroth with the Cardinal's prosperous estate, and 
thought she would devise a means to abate his high 
port ; wherefore she procured Venus, the insatiate 
goddess, to be her instrument." 

Then Cavendish introduces Anne Boleyn, who, he 
says, " being very young, was sent into the realm 
of France," and, being again with her father, was 
through his means " admitted to be one of Queen 
Katharine's maids, among whom, for her excellent 
gesture and behaviour, she did excel all other " — with 
the result that the King was smitten by her, though 
this was not at first known to anyone, hardly even by 

Now Cardinal Wolsey had in his household, as was 
the custom dating back from much earlier times in 
the households of great ecclesiastics, a certain number 
of " young Lords," who lived with him nominally 
as pages or servitors, but largely in fact for purposes 
of education. Among these was Lord Henry Algernon 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Percy, son of the fifth Earl of Northumberland. In 
1522, this young man was probably about twenty 
years of age. When the Cardinal went to Court, 
Cavendish relates, Henry Percy used to accompany 
him, and " would resort for his pastime unto the 
Queen's chamber and there fall into dalliance with the 
Queen's maidens." He became better acquainted 
with Mistress Anne Boleyn than with the rest, and at 
length such love grew up that they " insured together, 
intending to marry." 

The matter came to the King's ears, and he was 
much offended. Cavendish asserts that he was now 
unable to hide his own secret affection for the maid, 
and spoke to the Cardinal as to the breaking of the 
" precontract " between Percy and Anne Boleyn. 
Wolsey called Percy to him in the gallery of York 
Place, and in the presence of " his servants of his 
chamber " (who included Cavendish himself), rated 
him for his peevish folly in tangling himself with 
a foolish girl of the Court, mentioning her by name. 
With many words he pointed out to the young man 
the wrong he had committed, and warned him that 
neither his father, the Earl of Northumberland, nor 
the King would permit the match. His Majesty, in 
fact, " intended to have preferred Anne Boleyn to 
another person," with whom he had already discussed 
the matter and with whom he had almost come to 
an agreement. " Although she knoweth it not," 
added Wolsey, " yet hath the King, most like a politic 
and prudent prince, conveyed the matter in such sort 
that she, upon the King's motion, will be, I doubt 
not, right glad and agreeable to the same." 

Percy, " all weeping," protested that he had known 

At the Court of England 33 

nothing of the King's wishes, that he thought himself 
of age to provide himself with a wife, and that the 
lady was of right noble parentage. He besought the 
Cardinal's aid on his behalf with the King. 

When Wolsey appealed to the company standing 
round against " this wilful boy," and told him that 
he expected entire submission, Percy replied that he 
had gone so far and before so many worthy witnesses 
(in the matter of the precontract) that he did not know 
how to discharge his conscience if he obeyed. 

Did he think, asked Wolsey, that the King and he 
(not ego et rex mens this time !) did not know what to 
do in so weighty a matter ? And when Percy promised 
to submit to the King's will, if only his conscience 
could be eased in the matter of the precontract, the 
Cardinal announced that he would send for the Earl 
of Northumberland from the North. In the mean- 
time he commanded him, in the King's name, not to 
presume once to resort into her company, if he intended 
to avoid His Majesty's high indignation. 

The Earl of Northumberland came to London in 
answer to the summons, and called at once upon the 
Cardinal, with whom he had a long secret talk and 
a cup of wine. Then the Earl had an interview with 
his son, before the Cardinal's attendants, as Cavendish 
avers. Addressing him as a " proud, presumptuous, 
disdainful and very unthrift waster," Northumberland 
threatened to cut him off from the succession for the 
crime he had committed — the crime of having risked 
bringing on his father the King's displeasure and 
indignation, which were " sufficient to cast me and all 
my posterity into utter subversion and dissolution ! " 
He appealed to those round to be friends to his son 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

and tell him his fault ; and then, turning to Percy 
again, he bade him see that he did his duty. 

The contract was then undone, Cavendish says, 
" wherewith Mistress Anne Boleyn was greatly 
offended, saying that if it lay ever in her power she 
would work the Cardinal as much displeasure." He 
also says : " Even as my Lord Percy was commanded 
to avoid her company, even so she was commanded 
to avoid the Court and sent home to her father for a 
season, whereat she smoked [i.e., fumed, raged] : for 
all this while she knew nothing of the King's intended 

We can only reject Cavendish's story if we believe 
him to have invented the scenes of which he professed 
to be an eye-witness ; and the reading of his " Life 
of Cardinal Wolsey " does not inspire us with distrust. 
We may be allowed to doubt, however, whether 
Henry VIII. paid any attention to Anne Boleyn at 
so early a period. It is possible that Cavendish, knowing 
Anne's subsequent history when he wrote the " Life," 
imputed a motive to the King which did not exist 
in 1522. We have seen that Henry had been interested 
in a scheme to marry Anne to young James Butler, 
and it is likely that the disregarding of this project 
was what annoyed the " politic and prudent prince." 

A point which Cavendish does not mention is that 
Henry Percy was not free to engage himself to Anne 
Boleyn, his father having (as early, it is said, as 1516) 
arranged with the Earl of Shrewsbury to marry him 
to Mary Talbot, Shrewsbury's daughter ; but this need 
not have prevented Percy from contracting himself 
to Anne, though such contract might be illegal by the 
law of the day. 

At the Court of England 35 

It is a curious thing that the question of a " pre- 
contract " between Anne and Henry Percy came up 
again. After he had been forced to break with her, 
he was given duties in the north of England, becoming 
in October, 1522, Deputy Warden of the Marches, 
which effectually removed him from the dangerous 
neighbourhood of Mistress Anne. At the end of 
1523 or in the following year he obeyed his father's 
wishes by marrying Mary Talbot. The union was 
a most unhappy one, and his wife left him, to return 
to her father, and to become his bitter enemy. After 
he had become sixth Earl of Northumberland, in 
1527, there was no closing of the breach. In 1532 
she brought up the subject of the precontract with 
Anne Boleyn, and her father mentioned it to the Duke 
of Norfolk, with the result that the Earl of Northum- 
berland very solemnly denied the accusation. Again 
in 1536 the question arose, when, as we shall see, 
Northumberland repeated to Cromwell his denial of a 
precontract. The passage of years, perhaps, made a 
difference in the aspect with which Northumberland 
looked upon his engagement with Anne Boleyn. 

The whole episode appears as an innocent love-affair 
between two young people, the spoiling of which left 
them both aggrieved, Anne against Cardinal Wolsey 
and Percy against the marriage into which he was 
forced. He has fared rather ill at the hands of writers, 
both of his own period and later. He seems to have 
been sickly in body, and he was not strong of will, it 
may be admitted ; but there does not appear ground 
for calling him worthless. Some of the early animus 
against him is doubtless due to his being suspected 
of sympathy with the Reformers. He did not pay 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

so dearly for that as did his youthful sweetheart in 
her turn. 

So, very soon after her arrival at Court, Anne left 
again, in disgrace over an affair which her traducers 
have magnified into a stain on her reputation — as 
though it were a crime to fall in love with an honourable 
suitor ! She went to her father's house, at Hever 
according to tradition, though evidence is wanting, 
and " smoked." Mystery involves her existence again. 
Bishop Burnet, in his " History of the Reformation," 
was of opinion that she was back in France after the 
end of the war and did not return finally to England 
until brought by her father in 1527. For this opinion 
he gave no authority. Evidently influenced by Burnet, 
Miss Strickland favoured the view that Anne revisited 
France in 1525 and stayed once more with the Duchess 
of Alencon, taking part in the fetes at the French 
Court when King Francis was freed from his captivity 
in Spain. No traces, however, have been found of 
such a visit, apart from Burnet's statement, and, 
even if it were a fact, the interval between 1522 and 
1525 remains unaccounted for. 



IN the period of Anne's disappearance from view 
the fortunes of the Boleyn family continued to 
increase. Indeed, from April, 1522, onwards, as Mr. 
J. S. Brewer has pointed out, honours fell thick on 
Sir Thomas. In that month he obtained the post 
he so coveted of Treasurer of the Household (of which 
the annual value was assessed at £1,100, in lands, 
wages and fees), and was also made steward of Tun- 
bridge, master of the hunt there, constable of the 
castle, and chamberlain of Tunbridge, receiver and 
bailiff of Bradsted, and keeper of the manor of Pens- 
hurst. In 1523 he was appointed keeper of the parks 
of Thundersley, Essex and Westwood, Notts ; and 
in 1524 steward of Swaffham, Norfolk. Finally, in 
June, 1525, when King Henry created Henry Fitzroy, 
his son by Lady Tailebois, Duke of Richmond, he 
revived for Sir Thomas's benefit the Butlers' title of 
Rochford, making him a Viscount, however, not a 

The astute Thomas Boleyn, a typical product of the 
Tudor era, was still climbing and still amassing money. 

* The barony of Rochford had fallen in abeyance on the death 
in 15 15 of Thomas, seventh Earl of Ormonde, Piers Butler only laying 
claim, as heir male, to the Irish title of Ormonde. Rochford Hall, 
Essex, had come to Boleyn through his wife, when her father died 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

For a man who at marriage had " only 50/. a year 
to live on," with a wife who brought him " every year 
a child," he had done passingly well already. He 
had discovered, too, that children might be a blessing ; 
for it is impossible not to connect his accumulation 
of favours from the King with the fact that Henry's 
eyes had fallen on Mistress Carey, the former Mary 
Boleyn, and that she did not reject his advances, 
little to her own profit, it would seem, but much to 
her father's. That Thomas Boleyn had considerable 
ability need not be doubted, since he was constantly 
employed by the King on delicate and confidential 
missions abroad, as well as in his various offices at 
home. He was also one of Henry's regular boon- 
companions. But there was a dark secret behind 
as well, which ceased afterwards to be a secret to many 
people ; and when Mistress Carey, in 1526, bore a son, 
Henry, the future Lord Hunsdon, one of Elizabeth's 
favourites, rumour was busy with regard to the 
child's paternity. 

As has been said, we cannot well rescue the character 
of Mary Boleyn. It is clearly hopeless to attempt 
a defence of Sir Thomas. There is nothing, however, 
to connect Anne with this discreditable episode in her 
family's history previous to her reappearance at 
Court. It is all in her favour that she appears to have 
been out of contact with the Court at this time. 

The circumstances of Anne's return to Katharine's 
service are obscure. Cavendish writes as if it were 
not long after the Percy affair that she was ** revoked 
unto the court ; " but, as he is only interested in her 
so far as she enters into the story of his master, Wolsey, 
we must not look to him for strict historical accuracy 

Mistress Anne and Queen Katharine 39 

with regard to her doings. Indeed, he gives no dates. 
According to Miss E. O. Benger, who wrote her 
" Memoirs of the Life of Anne Boleyn " a hundred 
years ago, local tradition at Hever then still related 
how Henry VIII. used to ride down to the castle 
on some frivolous pretext, hoping to catch sight of his 
subject's daughter ; whereon the father, " alarmed," 
sedulously withdrew her from the King's view and 
made her keep her room, on the plea of indisposition. 
Legends persist a long time, it is true ; but in this case 
it is a matter of three hundred years, and we can only 
accept the tale for what it is worth — which we have 
no means of judging. All that we do know is that 
she went back to Court again, at some date between 
1525 and 1527, and that, according to Cavendish, 
she was in daily attendance upon Queen Katharine. 
Though she was still at first unaware of the King's 
great affection for her, Cavendish says, when she grew 
aware of it she began to look very haughty and wore 
all manner of jewels and rich apparel, while her 
influence with the King made her sought after by 
those who had suits to press with him. The Queen, 
he continues, saw how matters were going, but showed 
no grudge or displeasure against either. She had, 
indeed, " Mistress Anne in more estimation for the 
King's sake than before, declaring herself thereby 
to be a perfect Griselda." 

In view of Cavendish's neglect of dates and the 
absence of any documentary evidence, we cannot 
tell how quickly the affair progressed after Anne's 
restoration to Court. We have now to see how it 
developed into an event of national concern. 

The story of the divorce of Katharine of Aragon, 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

with the complicated intrigues and tortuous negotia- 
tions which characterized it, has been fully told in 
modern times, notably by Mr. M. A. S. Hume in his 
" Wives of Henry the Eighth," where it may be said 
that he does not treat Anne Boleyn with the same 
impartiality as he treats Katharine. His account of 
the beginning, growth and consummation of the idea 
of the divorce, however, is admirable and must be 
studied by all who wish to understand the underlying 
importance in English history of the repudiation of 
Katharine. He points out that if the question of 
religious reform had not complicated the situation 
and Henry, instead of marrying Anne Boleyn, had 
taken as his second wife some Roman Catholic princess, 
probably little difficulty would have been made about 
the divorce. Henry's wish to have a son and heir, 
which Katharine could not give him, was understood 
and indeed met with sympathy. The danger, as it 
seemed in the general opinion of England, of a marriage 
between Henry's only legitimate child, the Princess 
Mary, and a French prince, either Francis I. or a son, 
was imminent more than once. An alternative was 
the recognition of Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, 
as heir, to which his father, no doubt, at one time in- 
clined ; but his illegitimacy was a serious bar. 

Had the King, then, merely followed numerous 
royal precedents and put Katharine aside, to replace 
her by another princess for the sake of continuing the 
dynasty, the stir would certainly have been less, 
though it is not probable that even then Katharine 
would have surrendered her position and her daughter's 
rights without a great struggle ; and her personal 
popularity, both as a representative of the anti-French 

From the painting by Holbein at the Xew Palace of Westminster. 

Henry VIII. 

[To /ace p. 40. 

Mistress Anne and Queen Katharine 41 

interests and as a charitable and merciful queen — 
London was devoted to her after her intercession on 
behalf of the riotous apprentices of May Day, 15 17 — 
would have made her cause strong in any event. 
But, handled tactfully, Katharine might have been 
persuaded in the end to retire, with some guarantee 
for her daughter's future. So, at least, it is possible 
to conjecture. She must have foreseen the likelihood 
of such a demand upon her when all hope of bearing a 
son faded away, and the King ceased to cohabit with 
her any longer. 

It is generally said that the suggestion of a divorce 
first arose in 1526 or early in 1527, though the idea 
must surely have occurred to Henry and his advisers 
earlier still, Katharine being forty-one years old in 
1526 and having been a wife in name only for over a 
year. According to Cardinal Pole, the Boleyn party 
suggested it first ; but Thomas Boleyn could not until 
later have aspired to replace Katharine by his own 
daughter, and it is not clear why his guiding motive 
of " interest " should prompt him otherwise to get 
rid of the Queen. Henry's own story was that the 
subject of the validity of his marriage with Katharine 
was raised by the French envoy, the Bishop of Tarbes, 
when he came to England in early 1527 for the be- 
trothal ceremonies between the little Princess Mary 
and the widower King Francis. It was necessary, of 
course, that there should be no doubt about Mary's 

If this was really the seed of Henry's alleged appre- 
hension that his first marriage was illegal and that he 
had been living in " mortal sin " ever since 1509, it 
germinated with surprising rapidity. In April Henry 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

was in consultation with his advisers on the point ; 
and on May 17th came the meeting at York Place, 
where the King was cited to appear before the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, assisted by Wolsey, Gardiner 
and others, to show the legality of his marriage. These 
proceedings were soon dropped. But the struggle 
had begun which only ended six years later, after a 
complete break between Henry and Rome. We shall 
not touch upon the steps in that struggle save where 
they directly concern the career of Anne Boleyn. We 
may stop, however, at this point to consider the 
character of the woman whom Anne was destined to 
supplant, on which the work of Mr. M. A. S. Hume 
has thrown so much light. 

While it is impossible not to feel sympathy with 
Katharine of Aragon and indignation at the infamous 
treatment which she received at Henry's hands, at the 
same time it is difficult to see what claims she has to 
be called a saint. To be the victim of brutality and 
injustice is not the monopoly of saints, and does not 
confer sainthood, any more than to be massacred makes 
a martyr. From the religious-historical point of 
view, it would appear, a saint is a right-living pietist 
whose creed is the same as yours, or sufficiently like it 
to allow your admiration ; while a martyr is a person, 
not necessarily so right-living, who suffers death rather 
than gainsay opinions with which you are more or 
less in sympathy. So the list of saints and martyrs 
is capable of almost indefinite expansion, according to 
the bias of the writer. It was possible in the late 
Tudor times, just as to regard Katharine of Aragon as 
a saint, so to regard Anne Boleyn as a martyr — because 
her sympathies with the Reformers undoubtedly helped 

Mistress Anne and Queen Katharine 43 

in her ruin. The truth was, however, that they were 
both women, victims of a satyr-hearted tyrant, of 
whom Sir Walter Raleigh well said that, if all the 
patterns of a merciless prince had been lost to the 
world, they might have been found in this one king. 

Katharine was brave, haughty, tactless, ambitious, 
not over-scrupulous ; though excess of scruple was 
not to be expected of the daughter of Ferdinand and 
grand-daughter of John II. of Aragon. She was 
pious to austerity. Her life in England was a night- 
mare. Brought over at the age of sixteen (after 
infinite wr anglings and prevarications over her dowry 
between that well-matched pair, Ferdinand and Henry 
VII., both clever, greedy cheats, ever suspicious of 
being cheated), married to the fifteen-year-old Arthur, 
Prince of Wales, and widowed in six months ; kept 
in England in poverty and wretchedness (her dowry 
still at issue) until her second marriage in 1509, when 
she was twenty-four and Henry VIII. but eighteen ; 
disappointed of a living child until she herself was 
thirty, and then that child a daughter ; knowing her 
husband faithless both before and after the Princess 
Mary's birth ; deprived of the custody of her daughter ; 
finally — but indeed it was not finally, for worse had 
yet to come — middle-aged, stout and in sickly health, 
she found herself threatened with the humiliation of a 
divorce which impugned her eighteen years of married 
life and would make her daughter not future Queen of 
England, but a bastard. 

In this pass she put up a gallant fight, saw the great 
Cardinal Wolsey fall because he could not accomplish 
her removal, but found the Cardinal's successors more 
astute than he ; and, rejecting all overtures to 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

mitigate the circumstances of her removal from the 
throne, she drained the bitter cup to the dregs. 

Had Anne Boleyn been really responsible for this 
cruel degradation of her predecessor on the throne, 
a heavy burden of guilt would rest upon her name. 
But her actual share in it was small. It is clear that, 
with or without the presence on the scene of Anne 
Boleyn, Henry was determined to change his wife. 
The difficulty was the choice of a successor to 
Katharine. Wolsey, persistent in his endeavours to 
strengthen the alliance with France, may have been 
inclined to favour a French princess, such as Renee, 
daughter of Louis XII. and sister-in-law of Francis. 
Then there might be a double bond, with Henry 
united to a French wife and his daughter Mary to 
Francis. A grave obstacle to this scheme was that, 
if Katharine were repudiated on the ground that she 
had never been Henry's lawful wife, their daughter 
Mary would not be legitimate, and Francis would not 
marry her. There was scarcely any alternative on 
the Continent to a French marriage for Henry, since, 
the Emperor Charles being Katharine's nephew, her 
divorce would close many doors to the King of Eng- 
land. The problem facing Henry was a very tangled 
one. But his anxiety to have a son to succeed him 
and his weariness of Katharine made him bent on 
solving it. A third motive gave him the driving 
power to force a solution. This was his infatuation 
with Anne Boleyn. 

Anne's return to attend upon the Queen saw all 
her family directly in the Royal service. Viscount 
Rochford, being Treasurer of the Household, had rooms 
at the Palace for himself and his wife, who was still 

Mistress Anne and Queen Katharine 45 

one of Katharine's ladies. George Boleyn, probably 
in 1525, was appointed to the King's privy chamber, 
and having married Mistress Parker — Jane, grand- 
daughter of the well-known Henry Parker, Lord 
Morley and Monteagle — had an extra annual allow- 
ance of £20 for the support of himself and his wife.* 
Of Mary, the wife of William Carey, we do not hear. 
She may have fallen out of the King's favour ; but 
her husband was still at the Palace. Thus the fortunes 
of the Boleyns (or at least of the elder branch of the 
Boleyns, for Thomas had brothers, one of whom, 
Edward, was not unknown at Court) were all embarked 
on one ship. Like a dexterous pilot, Thomas, Lord 
Rochford, was steering that ship to his own further 
advancement. He had sacrificed one daughter, and 
was ready to sacrifice the other. Anne, however, 
had no notion of falling a sacrifice like her sister. She 
was not ambitious to become a King's mistress. 
Whatever view may be taken of her character, it must 
be admitted that she played a most difficult game 
with extreme skill, and only yielded when the prize 
was in sight. Considering that the other player was 
an amorous autocrat, who had power of life and death 
over her whole family, and that she withstood him, 
without losing him, for six years, Anne Boleyn's 
story is one of the most remarkable instances of a 
woman's finesse. The subtlety of Queen Elizabeth's 
character stamps her as a true daughter of her mother, 
whatever she may have inherited from the Tudors. 

Mr. Hume suggests that it was in the spring of 1527 
that the idea first came to Anne that she might become 
Queen of England. If so, it must indeed have been, 

* See Appendix C. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

as he says, secretly, for Wolsey had no intention of 
breaking the King's first marriage in order to replace 
Katharine with a Boleyn. Cavendish tells us that the 
Cardinal, " espying the King's great zeal " for Anne, 
dissembled his real feelings, and prepared great 
banquets and solemn feasts at York Place, at which, 
it is to be presumed he means, Anne was among the 
guests. Then " the love between the King and this 
gorgeous lady grew to such perfection that divers 
imaginations were imagined " — apparently the divorce 
of Katharine as a means to the elevation of Anne. 

What followed is a good example of the diplomacy 
of the period. The situation was complicated by the 
fact that Pope Clement, after the capture of Rome 
by the Imperialists in June, 1527, was a virtual 
prisoner in the Emperor's hands, and therefore could 
hardly be expected to lend himself to a scheme for 
divorcing Charles's aunt. Besides, Katharine had 
sent her chamberlain to her nephew to warn him what 
was on foot and to beg his aid in preventing the 
injustice threatening her. 

Wolsey was sent to France early in July. Cavendish 
sees in this a plot of the Cardinal's enemies to take him 
in " a brake " (snare), in which he implicates Anne. 
They thought they saw their time, if they could get 
him sent abroad and out of the King's daily presence, 
with Anne's aid to " deprave him so unto the King 
. . . that he should rather be in his high displeasure 
than in his accustomed favour." No doubt it was 
very desirable for the Boleyn party that the Cardinal 
should be absent from England ; but he himself was 
anxious to get to France. Apart from the secret 
commission with which he was entrusted to secure 

Mistress Anne and Queen Katharine 47 

assistance there for Henry's plan of a divorce from Kath- 
arine, he wished to prosecute his schemes for uniting 
the Royal families of the two countries. In August 
he arranged with Francis at Amiens several treaties, 
by one of which the young Duke of Orleans was to 
take his father's place as Mary's betrothed. 

In the matter of the divorce Wolsey also proposed 
to Henry to dispatch the Bishop of Worcester (Ghin- 
ucci, an Italian) to Rome, in the hope that he might 
secure from Pope Clement a general faculty empower- 
ing the Cardinal to exercise Papal functions in England 
as long as Clement remained under the Emperor's 
control. Henry, however, distrusted the slowness of 
such a procedure and evolved, or rather had suggested 
to him by John Barlow, then chaplain to the Boleyns, 
a speedier plan, which was to send his secretary, 
Dr. Knight, to the Pope, to try to persuade him to 
grant a dispensation of a remarkable character. This 
was to enable the King to marry again either before 
or after the formal dissolution of his first marriage ! 
Such a dispensation would, of course, concede the 
King's point, that his marriage with Katharine had 
never been valid. 

The scheme was not divulged to Wolsey, who, 
when Knight called on him on his way to Italy, was 
put off the scent by a story of instructions of a far less 
startling character. Nevertheless, he probably got 
wind of the danger of Henry breaking loose from his 
guidance and taking as his second wife, not a French 
princess, but Anne Boleyn. The Emperor had re- 
ceived not only his aunt's appeal, but also a warning 
from his ambassador in London, Inigo de Mendoza, 
that Henry was contemplating this ; and it is possible 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

that the news reached Wolsey's ears. It was not long 
ago, in fact on August ist, that he had written to the 
English representatives with the Emperor, instructing 
them to deny the rumour that Henry was seeking a 
divorce at all. Now the Emperor knew all, including 
something that Wolsey had not been prepared to 
believe when he left London, and perhaps now could 
hardly credit. He decided to return home with all 
speed. Before the end of September he was back in 
England, and on the 30th of the month he presented 
himself at Richmond Palace for audience of the King. 



IN Wolsey's absence from England, much had 
happened, to which the clue is given by the 
extraordinary series of love-letters from Henry VIII. 
to Anne Boleyn, most of which are preserved in the 
Vatican Library, having got thither in a manner to 
be discussed later. Unfortunately, none of the letters 
are dated, and it is only by conjecture that they can 
be assigned to a definite year and month. In one, 
which must be placed early in the series,* though 
indicating that the King had already gone far in his 
infatuation with " this gorgeous lady," Henry writes 
(in French, as is the case with all the letters where it 
is not otherwise stated) : 

" In turning over within me the contents of your 
letters, I have been in a great agony, not knowing 
whether to understand them to my disadvantage, as 
in some places I proved, or to my advantage, as in 
other places I understand them. I beg you with 

* Possibly earlier is the more formal little note which runs : 
" Though it belongs not to a gentleman to take his lady in the 
place of a servant, nevertheless, following your desire, I willingly grant 
it if thereby I may find you less ungrateful in the place chosen by 
yourself than you have been in that given by me. Thanking you 
heartily that it pleases you yet to have some remembrance of me."- 
This is signed Henry R., with some letters and figures. 

49 4 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

great earnestness to let me know your whole intention 
touching the love between us : for necessity constrains 
me to obtain this answer, having been for more than 
a year smitten by the dart of love, not being sure 
whether I shall fail or find a place in your heart and 
certain affection, which last matter has hindered 
me for some little time from naming you my mistress ; 
for if you love me with no more than common love 
this name is not fitting for you, since it denotes a 
singular [?] which is far removed from the common. 
But if it pleases you to do the office of a true loyal 
mistress and friend, and to give yourself body and 
heart to me, who will be and have been your very 
loyal servant (if you do not in cruelty forbid me), 
I promise you that not only the name shall be yours, 
but also I will take you for my sole mistress, casting 
all others but you outside my thoughts, and will serve 

In another letter Henry begs his " mistress and 
friend " not to let absence lessen her affection for him. 
He remarks that there is brought to his mind a point 
of astronomy, which is that the longer the days are 
the further off is the sun, and yet his heat is the more 
fervent. So it is with their love, for though they are 
far apart it keeps its fervency — " at least on our side," 
he adds, concluding : 

" Seeing that I cannot be present in person with 
you, I send you the nearest thing to that possible, 
that is my picture set in a bracelet. 

u This from the hand of your loyal servant and 

you alone. 





The Royal Lover 


Possibly in answer to this, Anne sent the King a 
trinket, representing, in diamonds, a solitary damsel 
in a tossing ship, with the motto, Aut illic aut nullibi 
(There or nowhere), a fairly clear indication that she 
would not be contented with less than the position of 
wife on the throne beside him. None of her letters 
to him are preserved, but Henry wrote to thank her 
effusively, his description of the present furnishing 
us with its details. " I desire you," he continued, 
"if at any time before this I have offended you, that 
you shall give me the same absolution as you ask, 
assuring you that henceforth my heart shall be dedi- 
cated to you alone, wishing much that my body was 
so too, as God can make it if it pleases Him, to whom 
I pray once daily for that end." He signed himself 
" in heart, body, and will, your loyal and most assured 
servant," with the subscription, H. aultre \^} ne 
cherce R. 

At the end of July, 1527, Henry was away in the 
country, hunting, as we know from a communication 
sent by Sir William Fitzwilliam, the King's treasurer, 
to Wolsey in France. Writing from Beaulieu on the 
31st of the month, Sir William reports that the King 
is keeping a very great and expensive house, among 
those at Beaulieu being the Duke of Norfolk and his 
wife, the Duke of Suffolk, the Marquis of Exeter, the 
Earls of Oxford, Essex and Rutland, Viscounts Fitz- 
walter and Rochford, both the ladies of Oxford, and 
others. " The King is merry and in good health," 
he says, " and hunts daily. He usually sups in his 
privy chamber with the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, 
the Marquis of Exeter, and Lord Rochford."* 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII,, "• Vol. IV. 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

To this time may be assigned Henry's letter to Anne, 
addressed to ma mestres, and reproaching her for not 
remembering the promise she made when he was last 
in her neighbourhood, to send news of herself and 
to let him have a reply to his last letter. As an 
excuse for writing, he says that he thinks it " belongs 
to a true servant to send to enquire of his mistress's 
health ; " and with the letter he dispatches a buck, 
killed late the previous night with his own hand, 
hoping that when she eats of it she will remember 
the huntsman. 

A strange letter, similarly addressed, is assigned to 
the same period, in which Henry writes : 

" As the time has been so long since I heard of your 
good health and of you, the great affection I have for 
you has persuaded me to send this bearer, to be better 
informed of your health and pleasure ; for since my 
last parting with you I have been told that the opinion 
in which I left you has been entirely changed, and 
that you will not come to Court either with your 
lady mother or otherwise. Which report, if true, I 
cannot enough marvel at, seeing that I am persuaded 
I have committed no offence. . . . Think well, my 
mistress, that your absence grieves me much, hoping 
that it is not your will that this should be ; but if 
I heard for certain that you desired it of your own 
will, I could do no other than lament my ill-fortune 
and by degrees abate my great folly. ..." 

This epistle is w written by the hand of your entire 
servant H.R." What manner of a tiff it indicates 
is obscure ; but at least it shows how far Anne Boleyn 
was from throwing herself at the King's head. 

The Royal Lover 


From all these letters we may gather that Henry's 
suit made rapid progress in the summer of 1527, 
though the title of " mistress " which he gives to Anne 
conveys no more than that she rules his heart. There 
is no promise in them, in so many words, to make 
her Queen ; but that idea lies beneath them, and 
Anne would accept nothing less. With this in view, 
she had allowed herself, by the time of Wolsey's return 
from France, to be put in a very ambiguous position. 

The scene of the Cardinal's reception at Richmond 
Palace is described by the Imperial Ambassador Men- 
doza in a letter to his master on October 26th. On 
arrival, he says, Wolsey sent to apprise the King, 
asking where and at what hour he could see him — 
" it being the custom that, whenever the Legate has 
State affairs to communicate, the King retires to a 
private chamber with him." Mendoza continues : 
" Now it happened on this occasion the lady called 
Anna de Bolains, who seems to entertain no great 
affection for the Cardinal, was in the room with the 
King, and, before the latter could answer the message, 
she said, 1 Where should he come save where the 
King is ? ' This answer being confirmed by the 
King, the messenger went back." The Cardinal had 
no resource but to dissemble his resentment and have 
his audience in the presence of others, including the 

" The matter has not gone further," Mendoza tells 
the Emperor, " and things remain outwardly as they 
were." To Wolsey, however, it must have been plain 
that Anne's influence over the King had increased 
greatly since his visit to France, and that it was no 
passing caprice on Henry's part with which he had to 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

deal. His own position was at stake, unless he could 
win the favourite's regard. Whether or not it is 
true that Anne could not forgive him the part he had 
played in parting her from Henry Percy (in this year, 
1527, become Earl of Northumberland), she certainly 
had no intention of treating the Cardinal as a friend. 
He would be a serviceable ally J but the Boleyn party, 
headed by her father and at this time adhered to by 
her uncle Norfolk, were bent on nothing less than the 
Cardinal's downfall. By aiding them he was playing 
into their hand. 

In October an important embassy from France, 
including the Grand Master Montmorency and John 
du Bellay, Bishop of Bayonne, came over to England 
to confirm the treaties made at Amiens. No doubt 
Anne Boleyn was at the magnificent entertainment 
given to the French mission at Greenwich Palace, 
described by Cavendish.* Wolsey had previously 
feasted them sumptuously at Hampton Court, and the 
King was determined to outdo him. The affair 
lasted from five in the afternoon until two or three 
the next morning. The programme was : dinner ; a 
consultation with the sagest counsellors of England j 
dancing and other pastimes ; supper in the banqueting- 
chamber of the Tiltyard, at which actual jousts took 
place in the room for the amusement of the diners ; 
and, to wind up, a series of masques. In this closing 
part of the entertainment there first came in " a 
number of fair ladies and gentlewomen that bare any 
bruit or fame of beauty in all this realm, in the most 
richest apparel, and devised in divers goodly fashions 

* Perhaps this may be identified with the revels in the Tiltyard on 
November 10th, 1527, for which accounts appear in " Letters and 
Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. IV. 

The Royal Lover 


that all the cunningest tailors could devise to shape 
or cut, to set forth their beauty, gesture, and the goodly 
proportion of their bodies." With these the gentle- 
men of France danced until another masque came in of 
noblemen, who took the ladies for their partners. 
Then followed in another masque of ladies, so gor- 
geously appareled that Cavendish dares not presume 
to describe them, lest he should deface rather than 
beautify them. Each of these took a French gentle- 
man to dance with her ; and Cavendish records that 
they spoke good French, which " delighted much these 
gentlemen, to hear these ladies speak to them in their 
own tongue." 

It is at this time that Wolsey's chronicler makes the 
love between the King and Mistress Anne Boleyn 
" break out into every man's ear." He says that the 
matter was then disclosed by the King to the Cardinal, 
by which he apparently means Henry's determination 
to make Anne his queen ; since he does not pretend 
that Wolsey was ignorant of the King's love. 

The Cardinal's " persuasion to the contrary, made to 
the King upon his knees," was ineffectual. Here we 
are reminded of what Wolsey said upon his death-bed, 
also recorded by Cavendish, how he told Sir William 
Kingston, with regard to Henry : "I assure you I 
have often kneeled before him in his privy chamber 
on my knees, the space of an hour or two, to persuade 
him from his will and appetite ; but I could never 
bring to pass to dissuade him therefrom." The Car- 
dinal, indeed, knew his master well, both his weakness 
of character under strong, tactful and unintermittent 
guidance, and his inflexible obstinacy of purpose when 
his desires led him in a certain direction. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

By his trip to France he had dropped the rein for 
nearly two months, and the Boleyn party had not failed 
to take advantage of it. Thomas, Viscount Rochford, 
naturally had pressed his own claims. At the end of 
December, 1527, we find the Bishop of Bayonne writing 
home to France that there was some talk of creating 
him Duke of Somerset. This was not to be ; but 
in the same month of December, through the medium 
of Wolsey, articles of agreement were drawn up 
between Viscount Rochford and his " comparceneurs " 
(his aunt, Anne St. Leger, and his mother, Margaret 
Boleyn) on the one hand, and Sir Piers Butler on the 
other, following which, in February, 1528, Sir Piers 
agreed to the Earldom of Ormonde being at the 
King's disposal. Sir Piers was created Earl of Ossory 
and got a portion of the disputed Irish property, 
the rest going to Dames Anne and Margaret. Thus 
the way was cleared for Thomas Boleyn's eventual 
attainment of the title of Ormonde. 

Before resuming the story of the proceedings for the 
divorce of Katharine of Aragon with a view to the 
substitution of Anne Boleyn for her as Queen of 
England, we have to deal with an episode in the latter's 
career which is puzzling as regards its date, and of 
which much has been made by some of her historians, 
with very little apparent justification. 

We have had occasion already to mention both 
Thomas Wyatt, the poet, and his father, Sir Henry 
Wyatt, with whom Anne Boleyn's father had been 
associated in the governorship of Norwich Castle in 
1 51 1. Sir Henry was a neighbour of the Boleyns in 
Kent, having his seat at Allington, near Maidstone. 
By his wife, Anne Skinner, he had a son Thomas and 

The Royal Lover 


a daughter Margaret, both of whom enter into Anne's 
life. Thomas is supposed to have been born in 1503. 
Whether he made Anne's acquaintance in childhood 
is uncertain ; it does not appear from his own writings. 
He was a boy of great precocity, for he is said to have 
gone up to Cambridge at the age of twelve ; and to 
have married when he was only seventeen. His bride 
was Elizabeth Brooke, daughter of Lord Cobham. 
He subsequently divorced her, but not until long after 
she bore him a son, Thomas Wyatt the younger, who 
was executed in Mary's reign. 

The poet was a singularly handsome man. His 
warm friend and brother in poetry, Henry Howard, 
Earl of Surrey, cousin to Anne Boleyn, described his 
form as one where " force and beauty met," and 
also averred that when he died Nature lost the form 
of perfect manhood. Another of his poetic friends 
was George Boleyn, Anne's brother ; and still more 
intimate was Sir Francis Bryan, her cousin through 
the Howards. It may be noted of Wyatt, George 
Boleyn and Bryan alike, that they were favourites of 
Henry VIII., Boleyn bitterly experiencing the perils 
of a King's favour, and Wyatt very nearly doing so ; 
and also that all three were attracted by the Reform 
movement, Boleyn, and Bryan still more, getting 
thereby much obloquy from the adherents of the old 

From his close acquaintance with so many members 
of her family we should expect to find that Thomas 
Wyatt had met Anne Boleyn early in life. However, 
Wyatt 's grandson writes as if Thomas first " came 
to behold the sudden appearance of this new beauty " 
when she arrived at Court. He was struck not only 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

by her looks but also by her witty and graceful speech, 
"so as finally his heart seemed to say, ' I could gladly 
yield to be tied for ever with the knot of her love/ 
as somewhere in his verses hath been thought his 
meaning was to express."* Anne, on the other hand, 
finding him to be then married and " in the knot to 
have been tied then ten years, rejected all his speech 
of love." 

Thomas Wyatt, if the accepted date is correct, 
had not been married ten years until 1530. But 
Anne made no sudden appearance as a new beauty 
in 1530 ; and, as she was already before the end of 
1527 candidate for the position of second wife to Henry 
VIII., it is obvious that George Wyatt has postdated 
the time of his grandfather's attraction by her. From 
what we know of Thomas Wyatt's life, after his 
accompaniment of Sir Thomas Cheyney on a mission 
to France in 1526 he was back in England ; and if 
he actually went with Sir John Russell to the Papal 
Court in January, 1527, as the story runs, he did not 
remain there the whole of the year. In 1529-30 he 
was mostly at Calais, in connection with his post as 
High Marshal of the town. On the whole, 1526 or 
1527, rather than 1528, when Anne was clearly des- 
tined to be Queen, seems to be the likely year of 
his falling in love with her. Moreover, his grandson 
gives another clue to the date when he says that 
the King first noticed Wyatt's attitude " after such 
time as upon the doubt of those treaties of marriage 
with his daughter Mary \ " and that time, as we 
have seen, appears to have been early in 1527. 

* The verses alluded to, however, talk of " her tresse ... of 
cresped gold ; 11 and Anne's hair was black. 

The Royal Lover 


George Wyatt's tale goes as follows. Anne was 
busy one day with some work (she was very skilful 
with her needle), when Thomas Wyatt, who was 
talking with her, as he was fond of doing, " in sport- 
ing wise " caught from her a certain small jewel 
hanging by a lace out of her pocket, which he thrust 
into his bosom and refused to give back. He con- 
tinued to wear it about his neck, under his cassock ; 
and Anne "seemed not to make much reckoning of it, 
either the thing not being much worth, or not worth 
much striving for." The King noted Wyatt's hover- 
ing about the lady and kept a watchful eye on him, 
though he found that she gave no encouragement. 
Then Henry, having determined to make her his 
wife, took a ring from her, which he wore upon his 
little finger. A few days after this had happened 
Henry was playing at bowls with the Duke of Suffolk, 
Sir Francis Bryan, Wyatt, and others, and in the 
course of the game claimed a cast to be his that to 
his opponents plainly appeared to be otherwise. 
With all deference, they told him that they did not 
agree with him. 

The King, however, pointing at his bowl with the 
finger on which he wore the ring, continued to affirm 
that the cast was his. Addressing himself especially 
to Wyatt, who was on the opposite side, and smiling 
on him withal, he said, " Wyatt, I tell thee it is mine." 
The other at length gave a glance at the ring, and 
recognized it as Anne Boleyn's. He paused, and when 
Henry once more said, " Wyatt, I tell thee it is mine," 
replied, "And if it may like Your Majesty to give 
me leave to measure it, I hope it will be mine." So 
speaking, he took from about his neck the lace with 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

the trinket at the end of it, and stooped down to 
measure the cast with it. Henry, in his turn, recog- 
nized the trinket as having belonged to Anne, and 
" therewithal spurned away the bowl and said, 1 It 
may be so, but then am I deceived ' ; and so broke 
up the game." 

The King, continues the tale, went to his room, 
showing some discontentment in his countenance, 
and found means to break the matter to the lady. 
Anne was able to give good and evident proof how 
the knight* came by the jewel, and satisfied Henry 
so effectually that his opinion of her truth was 
stronger than before and proceeded soon to " dis- 
cover his full and whole meaning unto the lady's 
father, to whom we may be sure the news was not 
a little joyful." 

The rather ingenuous termination to the narrative 
need not make us mistrust what has gone before. 
Indeed, the incident of the game of bowls bears the 
stamp not of imagination but of truth, and doubtless 
was thus told by Thomas Wyatt himself and handed 
down through his son to his grandson. The same 
is perhaps the case also with the story of the game 
of cards, with which George Wyatt's manuscript con- 
tinues. Queen Katharine, according to this, used to 
have Anne Boleyn more frequently with her at cards 
now, both in order that the King might have less of 
her company and that Anne's defect on one finger 
might be shown. (We need not credit this last 
motive.) They played some game which came to an 
end when the king and queen of a suit met j and 
it often fell to Anne to draw the king. Queen 

* As a matter of fact, Wyatt was not knighted until much later. 

The Royal Lover 


Katharine noticed this, and remarked to her : " My 
Lady Anne, you have good hap to stop at a king ; 
but you are not like the others, you will have all or 
none I " Aut illic aut nullibi, in fact ; though we 
have no reason to suppose that Katharine had know- 
ledge of Anne's audacious motto. 

It is typical of the treatment to which Anne Boleyn's 
character has been submitted that this episode 
with Wyatt has been made the ground for accusing 
her of "light behaviour," or, in other words, im- 
moral conduct. Even Mr. M. A. S. Hume, speaking 
of her resistance to the advances of Henry VI II., says : 
" She had not always been so austere, for gossip had 
already been busy with her good name. Percy and 
Sir Thomas Wyatt had both been her lovers, and 
with either or both of them she had in some way 
compromised herself." We have seen what the affair 
with Percy amounted to, taking it from evidence of 
a hostile witness. We have now seen also the Wyatt 
affair, as related by his grandson. The story cer- 
tainly makes Thomas Wyatt to have been indiscreet, 
but surely does not implicate Anne. Mr. Hume, 
however, adduces also a statement in the " Spanish 
Chronicle of Henry VIII.," a contemporary work 
which he himself has edited in English, and a letter 
from Eustace Chapuys, ambassador to the Emperor 
in 1530. The Spanish chronicler's statement we may 
deal with later, when we come to the time of Anne's 
imprisonment j the ambassador's tale is vague.* 

* Chapuys merely told the Emperor that Anne had been accused 
by the Duke of Suffolk of undue familiarity with " a gentleman who 
on a former occasion had been banished on suspicion.' 1 Suffolk was 
no friend to Anne, resenting her pretensions to becoming Queen, 
when he, through his wife, stood so near to the succession. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Here we may point out that both the Spaniard and 
Chapuys were devoted to the cause of Katharine of 
Aragon and haters of Anne Boleyn, and that there- 
fore we cannot take their repetition of a piece of 
gossip in Court circles as unimpeachable evidence. 

We need not doubt that Wyatt was in love with 
Anne Boleyn. Even if we had not his grandson's 
testimony, there is sufficient indication of his attach- 
ment to her in his verse ;* though the poetic license 
to love numerous ladies must not be forgotten, and 
in Wyatt's case there were various other loves, real 
or imaginary. But to have been loved by a poet is 
surely not a reflection on Anne. 

* In his poem " Of his Love, called Anna,"- the bearer 
name may reasonably be identified with her : 

What word is that, that changeth not, 
Though it be turn'd and made in twain ? 

It is mine Anna, God it wot, 
And eke the causer of my pain, 
Who love rewardeth with disdain ; 

Yet is it loved : what would ye more ? 

It is my health, and eke my sore. 
A still more striking poem is that beginning : 

Whoso list to hunt ? I know where there is a hind, 
of which the concluding lines are : 

Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt, 
As well as I may spend his time in vain ! 
And graven with diamonds in letters plain 

There is written her fair neck round about : 
" Noli me tangere ; for Caesar's I am 
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame." 

This is obviously imitated from an Italian poem by J. A. Romanello, 
itself an imitation from Petrarch ; but it seems too close a resemblance 
to Wyatt's case of " the Lover, despairing to attain unto his Lady's 
grace, relinquishing the pursuit," not to have some topical import. 
The last line, which is purely Wyatt's own, has somewhat fantastically 
been supposed to allude to Anne Boleyn's " levity and gaiety.'-' 

of that 

From an engraving bv Bartolozzi or Cadon, after Holbein's portrait at Windsor. 

Thomas Wyatt. 

[To lace p. 62 


The Royal Lover 63 

One more story from George Wyatt we may note 
as we leave the subject of his grandfather. Someone, 
he tells, sent Anne Boleyn a book of pretended old 
prophecies, with illustrations, in which her future 
fate was foretold. Opening it and looking into it, 
she called her maid, who bore the same Christian name 
as herself. " Come hither, Nan, see here a book of 
prophecy. This, he saith, is the King ; this the 
Queen, mourning, weeping and wringing her hands ; 
and this is myself, with my head off ! " "If I 
thought that true," said the maid, " though he were 
an Emperor, I would not myself marry him." " Yes, 
Nan," replied her mistress, " I think the book a 
bauble. Yet, for the hope I have that the realm 
may be happy by my issue, I am resolved to have 
him whatsoever may become of me." 

The reason given for Anne's determination has 
certainly a sound of having been invented after her 
daughter came to the throne. Undoubtedly, how- 
ever, she was resolved to have the King for her hus- 
band. In the meantime she had resumed her duties 
at Court, and we get two glimpses of her in letters 
written by Thomas Heneage, one of the King's gentle- 
men, to Cardinal Wolsey. On March 3rd, 1528, 
Heneage relates how, as the King was going to dinner, 
" Mrs. Anne " spoke to himself, saying she was 
afraid the Cardinal had forgotten her, as he had 
sent her no token by his last messenger to Court. 
Lady Rochford had also spoken and asked for a morsel 
of tunny. Further, the same night the King had sent 
Heneage down with a dish to Mistress Anne for her 
supper, when she caused him to sup with her and 
expressed a wish that she had " some good meat from 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

the Cardinal, such as carps, shrimps or other." (It 
was Lent, and the Cardinal had some celebrated 
fisheries.) " I beseech Your Grace," concludes 
Heneage, " pardon me that I am so bold to write unto 
Your Grace thereof ; it is the conceit and mind of a 
woman ! " 

Ten days later Heneage writes again, saying that 
Mistress Anne thanks His Grace for his " kind and 
favourable writing unto her," and desires him to 
appeal on behalf of Sir Thomas Cheyney, for whom 
she is M marvellously sorry that he should be in Your 
Grace's displeasure." 

Clearly Anne recognized that the Cardinal was still 
so powerful that he must be assiduously courted. 



SINCE Wolsey's return to England at the end 
of September, 1527, matters had not been going 
at all well for the scheme to obtain a divorce for 
Henry. The Cardinal had reinforced Dr. Knight, in 
whom he had no belief, with the aid of trained diplo- 
matists like Sir Gregory Casale and the Prothonotary 
Gambara, and efforts were made to get Pope Clement 
to give his assent to more extraordinary things. He 
was to issue a commission investing Wolsey or some 
other Legate (not of Imperialist sympathies), or two 
of them together, with plenary authority to decide 
on the validity of Henry's first marriage ; and he was 
to put forth a Bull allowing the King to marry again 
even within the first degree of affinity* The significance 

* The draft Bull, to be submitted to Clement, contains the words, 
in Latin of course : " Furthermore, to avoid all canonical objections 
on the side of the woman, by reason of any former contract clandestinely 
made, or impediment of public honesty or justice arising from such 
clandestine contract, or of any affinity contracted in any degree, even 
in the first, through illicit connection, and in the event that it has 
proceeded beyond the second or third degree of consanguinity, whereby 
otherwise you, the petitioner [sc., Henry], would not be allowed to 
contract marriage, we hereby license you to take such woman to wife 
. . . ,J (" Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. IV., page 1637.) 

The reference to " any former contract "■ refers, as clearly as does 
that to the degree of affinity, to the case of Anne Boleyn. It does not, 
of course, prove the precontract with Henry Percy ; but it shows how 
Henry's tender conscience required to be safeguarded from any possible 
stain 1 

65 5 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

of this latter provision is obvious when we consider 
that, until 1533, the date of Anne Boleyn's marriage, 
when the law was changed in England, no difference 
was made between licit and illicit connection in the 
list of forbidden degrees ; so that a previous illicit 
connection between Henry and Mary Carey would put 
Anne Boleyn in the first degree of affinity in regard to 
him. It may be noted that, writing to Casale on 
December 5th, 1527, giving instructions as to how to 
approach the Pope, Wolsey says : " Though the King 
does not fear the consequences which might arise, 
yet, remembering by the example of past times what 
false claims have been put forward, to avoid all colour 
or pretext of the same, he requests this of the Pope 
as indispensable " — namely, his consent to the Bull. 

With Dr. Knight's request that Henry should be 
allowed to marry again, whether the nullity of the 
marriage with Katharine were established or not, it is 
clear that Pope Clement had a demand of unique 
character put forward for his consideration. He made 
it easier for himself to give it impartial attention by 
escaping from Imperial control on December 9th, 
and taking refuge at Orvieto ; but, anxious as he was 
to placate Henry, and to have England and France 
on his side against the tyranny of the Emperor Charles, 
he could not bring himself to do more than give 
Knight a dispensation, whereby a Legatine Court 
sitting in London might decide on the validity of the 
marriage between Henry and Katharine. Even this 
was vitiated through the insertion by the Pope's 
advisers of a clause which reserved to him final judg- 
ment on the matter. Therefore Knight's mission was 
a failure, very thinly disguised ; and Henry, having 

Awaiting the Legate 


no intention of leaving the decision to one over whom 
he had so little command as the Pope, especially as 
war was now openly declared between the Anglo- 
French alliance and the Empire, decided with Wolsey 
that they must try again. It should still be through 
an attempt to move the Pope, but with different 

The King wrote on February 12th to Cardinal St. 
Quattuor (who was, as a matter of fact, the person 
mainly responsible for the alteration of the drafts) 
that he found the commission and dispensation lately 
sent of no force. This letter went by the hands of the 
new envoys, Edward Foxe, his own almoner, and 
Stephen Gardiner, a protege of Wolsey. The Cardinal's 
instructions to these make very interesting reading.* 
Wolsey says that he finds the Pope has been labouring 
under a misapprehension, as if the King had set on 
foot his divorce out of a vain affection or undue love 
to a gentlewoman of not so excellent qualities as she 
is here [in England] esteemed. The envoys are to 
inform His Holiness that Wolsey is well assured, and 
" dare put his soul," that the King's desire is grounded 
upon justice, and not from any grudge or displeasure 
to the Queen, whom he honours and loves, and minds 
to love and treat as his sister, with all manner of 
kindness. But, as this marriage is contrary to God's 
law, the King's conscience is grievously offended. 

" On the other side," continues Wolsey, " the ap- 
proved, excellent virtues of the said gentlewoman, 
the purity of her life, her constant virginity, her 
maidenly and womanly pudicity, her soberness, 
chasteness, meekness, humility, wisdom, descent of 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII. , {| Vol. IV., page 1741. 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

right noble and high through regal blood, education 
in all good and laudable [qualities] and manners, 
apparent aptness to procreation of children, with her 
other infinite good qualities, more to be regarded and 
esteemed than the only progeny/' are the grounds on 
which the King's desire is founded — which Wolsey 
regards as " honest and necessary." 

The instructions end with a passage, somewhat 
mutilated in the manuscript, in which a request 
appears to be made that the Pope shall write to Queen 
Katharine, asking her to conform to the King's wishes 
to forbear all trouble and delay, as, if sentence be not 
passed against her, the King will have greater reason 
to deal with her liberally and treat her as Princess of 

On their way to Dover, Foxe and Gardiner evidently 
called at Lord Rochford's house at Hever, and paid 
their respects to Anne ; for, in a letter to her Henry 
wrote, in English, to the following effect : 

" This bearer and his fellow are dispatched with 
as many things to compass our matter and bring it 
to pass as our wits could imagine or devise ; which 
brought to pass, as I trust, by their diligence, it shall 
be shortly, you and I shall have our desired end. . . . 
Keep him not too long with you, but desire him for 
your sake to make the more speed ; for the sooner 
we shall have word from him the sooner shall our 
matter come to pass. And thus, upon trust of your 
short repair to London, I make an end of my letter, 
mine own sweetheart. Written with the hand of him 
which desireth as much to be yours as you do to have 

Awaiting the Legate 


Reaching Orvieto on March 20th, the envoys, of 
whom Gardiner took the chief part, found their task 
with the Pope one of tremendous difficulty ; and they 
came even to threats that " the King would do it with- 
out him." His Holiness, " casting his arms abroad," 
and crying that to give such a commission as Henry 
demanded would be a direct declaration against the 
Emperor — as, indeed, it might be treated, since a 
Legatine Court, sitting in London with plenary powers, 
could hardly dare to reach a verdict against the King 
— put them off first with a commission really no better 
than Knight had obtained. Foxe came home in 
advance, with letters from the Pope and others, which 
seemed to show that the embassy had been successful. 
On May 3rd, he presented himself at Greenwich Palace, 
where the Court was. 

Writing to Gardiner in Italy, his colleague told him 
how on arrival he had been commanded by the King 
" to go to Mrs. Anne's chamber, who, as my lady 
Princess and others of the Queen's maidens were sick 
of the smallpox, lay in the gallery of the Tiltyard." 
To Anne, Foxe praised Gardiner's singular diligence 
and dexterity and mentioned his hearty commendations 
of her to the Pope, for which she seemed most grateful, 
" oftentimes calling me Master Stephens,* with promise 
of large recompense for your good acquittal." On 
the King entering the chamber, Anne left them, and 
Foxe, presenting his letters, related the difficulties of 
the mission, and how they had extracted a promise 
from Clement that, once the Legates should have given 
their decision on the divorce, he would confirm it 

* " Dr. Stephens " was a name by which we frequently find Gardiner 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

without delay. The King, apparently not seeing 
at first that there was a snare in this, " seemed mar- 
vellously well pleased, and, calling in Mrs. Anne, bid 
me repeat it all to her." Many questions were asked 
about the Pope's disposition toward the King, when 
Foxe told them that without Wolsey's letters they 
would have obtained nothing ; for His Holiness de- 
clared he had been told, long before their coming, 
that the King only wanted his desire for private 
reasons, and that she [Anne] was with child, and of 
no such qualities as should be worthy of such a position ; 
but Wolsey's letters proved the contrary. 

If Henry and Anne imagined for the moment that 
the path to their union was now smoother, they 
were much mistaken. It is true that Clement, on 
still further pressure from Gardiner, while appointing 
Campeggio to act with Wolsey in judging the cause 
(apparently with authority for either to act alone, if 
necessary), gave him a decretal to the effect that, if 
Henry's statement of his case should prove correct, 
then by canon law his marriage was null. But Cam- 
peggio was privately instructed to show this decretal 
only to the King and Wolsey, not to let it go out of 
his hands, and in case of need to destroy it. On June 
8th, the Pope issued his commission to the two Car- 
dinals ; and the Italian's arrival in England was the 
next step to be waited for. 

In June Anne was with the Court at Greenwich ; 
for on the 6th Heneage wrote thence to Wolsey that 
" Mistress Anne is very well amended, commends 
herself to you, and thinketh long till she speak to you." 
By " amended " Heneage appears to refer to some 
slight indisposition. The serious epidemic which was 

Awaiting the Legate 


just beginning to ravage south-east England had not 
yet touched the Court. About the same time belongs 
Anne's own letter to the Cardinal, with the postscript 
by Henry.* Though it is well known to many 
readers, it is worth quoting again, as showing Anne's 
outward attitude towards Wolsey at this time and 
her hopes of attaining her desire with his assistance. 
She writes : 

" My Lord, — In my most humblest wise that my 
heart can think, I desire you to pardon me that I am 
so bold to trouble you with my simple and rude writing, 
proceeding from one who is much desirous to know 
that Your Grace does well, as I perceive by this bearer 
that you do. The which I pray God long to continue, 
as I am most bound to pray ; for I do know the great 
pains and troubles that you have taken for me, both 
day and night, is never like to be recompensed on my 
part, but alonely in loving you, next unto the King's 
Grace, above all creatures living. And I do not 
doubt but the daily proofs of my deeds shall mani- 
festly declare and affirm my writing to be true, and 
I do trust you do think the same. My Lord, I do 
assure ycv 7. do long to hear from you news of the 
Legate ; for I do hope, as they come from you, they 
shall be very good, and I am sure you desire it as much 
as I, and more, if it were possible, as I know it is not. 
And thus remaining in a steadfast hope I make an 
end of my letter. Written with the hand of her that 
is most bound to be 

" Your humble servant, 

" Anne Boleyn." 

* Some would assign this letter to the time of Anne's supposed visit 
to Ampthill at the end of July. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Henry, adding his message at the end, tells the 

Cardinal that " the writer of this letter would not 

cease till she had caused me likewise to set to my 
hand," and continues : 

" There is neither of us but that greatly desireth 
to see you and [is] much more joyous to hear that 
you have scaped this plague so well, trusting the 
fury thereof to be passed, specially with them that 
keepeth good diet, as I trust you do. The not hearing 
of the Legate's arrival in France causeth us somewhat 
to muse. Notwithstanding, we trust by your diligence 
and vigilancy (with the assistance of Almighty God) 
shortly to be eased out of that trouble. . . . 

" By your loving Sovereign and Friend, 

"H. Rex." 

Henry was disappointed in his hope that the fury 
of the plague had passed. On June 16th someone 
at Court, in attendance on Anne, was attacked by 
that mysterious illness, " the sweat," which got a 
hold principally on the counties of Kent and Sussex, 
but apparently never travelled further from England 
than Calais. Though it claimed many victims in 
London and in south-east England, it was popularly 
supposed to have no power on the Continent. 

When the sweat appeared at Court, there was a 
great panic. " The King in great haste dislodged," 
writes du Bellay, Bishop of Bayonne, to Montmorency, 
" and went twelve miles hence, and I hear that the 
lady was sent to her father, the Viscount, in Kent. 
As yet the love has not abated," he adds. The love 
had not abated, indeed ; but Henry was a great 

Awaiting the Legate 


coward in face of the epidemic, and went first to 
Waltham, then to Hunsdon, and thirdly to Titten- 
hanger, where Wolsey had a house to lend him. It 
was reported that he used to shut himself up in a 
tower with his physician, Dr. Chambers, and to 
insist on having his meals alone. To prove that he 
did not forget Anne, however, he sent her letters, 
of which the first appears to be one running as follows : 

" The doubt I had of your health troubled me 
extiemely, and I should scarcely have had any quiet 
without knowing the certainty ; but since you have 
yet felt nothing, I hope it is with you as with us. 
When we were at Waltham two ushers, two valets de 
chambre, your brother, [and] master treasurer fell ill 
and are now quite well, and since we are removed to 
our house at Hunsdon we have been perfectly well, 
without one sick person, God be praised, and I think 
that if you would retire from the neighbourhood of 
Surrey, as we did, you would avoid all danger j and 
also another thing may comfort you, for in truth it 
is said that few or no women have been taken ill, 
and moreover none of our Court and few elsewhere 
have died of it. For which reason I beg you, my 
entirely beloved, to have no fear nor to be too uneasy 
at our absence." 

Henry hopes soon to make her sing for joy of her 
recall, and wishes her in his arms so that he might a 
little dispel her unreasonable thoughts — doubtless a 
reference to some letter of hers written at Hever. 

Very soon after this letter from Henry at Huns- 
don, we find a letter written to Wolsey by Thomas 
Heneage at the same place and dated June 23rd. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

" This morning is told me," says the writer, " that 
Mistress Anne and my lord of Roxfort had the sweat 
and was past the danger thereof." On the same day 
also Sir Brian Tuke, treasurer of the chamber, wrote 
to Wolsey from Hunsdon, saying that the King yester- 
day had told him how few were dead of the sweat ; 
how Mistress Anne and my Lord Rochford had both 
had it ; what jeopardy they had been in "by the 
turning in of the sweat before the time ; " of the en- 
deavours of Mr. Butts, who had been with them ; 
and finally of their perfect recovery. 

These two messages to Wolsey help to place, within 
a few days, the letter from Henry to Anne on hearing 
of her being attacked by the sweat, which is a charac- 
teristic example of his epistolatory style. He writes : 

" There came to me in the night the most afflicting 
news possible, for I have reason to grieve upon three 
accounts. First, because I heard of the sickness of 
my mistress, whom I esteem more than all the world, 
whose health I desire as much as my own, and would 
willingly bear the half of yours to cure you. Secondly, 
because I fear to suffer yet longer that hated absence 
which has given me such pain already, and as far as 
I can judge is like to give me more. I pray God to 
deliver me from so importunate a rebel ! Thirdly, 
because the physician in whom I trust most is absent 
at the moment when he could do me the greatest 
pleasure ; for I should hope by his means to obtain 
one of my principal joys in this world, that is my 
mistress cured. Nevertheless, in default of him I 
send you the second and only one left, praying God 
that soon he may make you well, and then I shall 
love him more than ever." 

Awaiting the Legate 


The first physician mentioned seems to be Dr. 
Chambers ; and the second, whom he sent down 
to Hever, Dr. Butts, who was successful with the 
patients, though Lord Rochford did not make so 
good progress as his daughter, it appears later. 

In the letters of Heneage and Tuke to Wolsey, 
quoted above, mention is made of the death, through 
the sweat, of William Carey, Anne Boleyn's brother- 
in-law. In fact, Heneage states that the news reached 
Hunsdon " this night [June 23rd], as the King went 
to bed." Some time after this date, therefore, must 
come a letter from Henry to Anne, written in English, 
in which he says that, as touching her sister's matter : 

" I have causyd Walter Welze [Walter Walshe, 
groom of the chamber] to wrytte to my lord myne 
mind theryn, wherby I trust that Eve shal nott have 
poure to dyssayve Adam, for surly, whatsoever is 
sayde, it can nott so stand with hys honour but that 
he must neds take her hys naturall dawghter, now in 
her extreme necessite." 

The reference to Eve " dissayving " Adam is ob- 
scure. Professor Brewer supposes that the King 
means to say that Rochford was influenced in his 
neglect of his daughter either by his wife or some 
other lady. Anyhow it is clear that he had exhibited 
reluctance to look after his widowed daughter Mary.* 

In this letter, for the first time in the correspon- 
dence, there is a touch of coarseness — we refrain from 

* It may be noted that to Anne was granted the custody of William 
Carey's lands during the minority of Henry, his son and heir, " with 
the wardship and marriage of the said heir." (" Letters and Papers, 
Henry VIII.," Vol. V., page 7.) 

76 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

quoting the passage — for which, and for similar ex- 
amples in later letters, several historians have not 
failed to blame the recipient, Anne. Such censure 
is entirely beside the point. Coarseness of language 
was no rarity in letters of the period, and ladies had 
to tolerate it, even when not placed in the position 
of Anne Boleyn. Henry's indelicacies cannot honestly 
be held to besmirch her character, regrettable as it 
may seem to the taste of more refined times that she 
did not at once write back to him renouncing her 
aspirations to become his second wife. 

At the end of June Anne was still at Hever with 
her father, as du Bellay notifies Montmorency, while 
the King had at last come to rest at Tittenhanger, 
" finding further removals useless." Though there 
had been numerous cases of the sweat at Court, the 
deaths had been few. Henry himself wrote to Anne, 
giving her a similar account of the situation, and 
said : 

" As touching abode at Hever, do therein as best 
shall like you ; for you know best what air doth best 
with you « but I would it were come thereto (if it 
pleased God) that nother of us need care for that, for 
I ensure you I think it long." 

In this same letter there is mention of a curious 
affair, which deserves some attention as showing 
a struggle of will between Anne Boleyn and Cardinal 
Wolsey for influence over the King at the very time 
when she was relying on the Cardinal's aid in the 
matter of her marriage. The affair arose out of the 
question of appointing a successor to Elizabeth 

Awaiting the Legate 77 

Shelf ord, the old abbess of the nunnery of St. Edith, 
Wilton, who died on April 24th, 1528. Writing that 
day to Wolsey, Thomas Benet told him that most of 
the convent favoured as her successor Isabel Jordan, 
the prioress, who was ancient, wise and discreet. 
" There will be great labour made," he warned him, 
" for Dame Eleanor Carye, sister of Mr. Carye of 
the Court." This Dame Eleanor was one of the 
nuns, and as sister of William Carey was sister-in- 
law to Mary and Anne Boleyn. On June 23rd Wolsey 
was informed by Heneage that Carey (just before his 
succumbing to the sweat) " begs you to be gracious 
to his sister, a nun in Wilton Abbey, to be prioress 
there, according to your promise." It would seem, 
however, that it was the higher appointment of 
abbess which was aimed at for the lady, though 
there later arises a question of making her eldest 
sister abbess — still keeping the post in the Carey 

Unfortunately, Eleanor Carey had a bad reputation ; 
and there must have been considerable laxity in the 
Wilton establishment as a whole. The Cardinal had 
the nuns before him, and examined them in the 
presence oi Dr. John Bell, archdeacon of Gloucester. 
There " she which we would have had abbesse," as 
Wolsey writes, confessed to having had two children 
by two sundry priests, and since to have been kept 
by a servant of Lord Broke. Wolsey accordingly 
appointed Isabel Jordan abbess. He quickly learnt 
that he had been precipitate. Dr. Bell wrote to him 
on July 10th that the King was " somewhat moved " 
at the appointment, and that, " though on the 
report of the dissolute living of Dame Elinor he was 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

content to desist, ... his mind and expectation was 
that in no wise the prioress should have it, at which 
some will find themselves aggrieved." 

Heneage wrote next day, confirming the news of 
the King's displeasure ; and Henry, who on July nth 
had moved to Ampthill, in Bedfordshire, followed 
this up with a letter of grave though friendly rebuke 
to the Cardinal for first acting against his wishes 
and then " cloaking your offence by ignorance.' ' 

There must have been some letter to Wolsey, which 
is missing, in which the King's desire was expressed 
that the appointment should go to a third person, 
neither Eleanor Carey nor the prioress ; for in the 
last quoted letter to Anne Boleyn Henry says : "I 
would not for all the gold in the world clog your 
conscience nor mine to make her ruler of a house 
which is of so ungodly demeanour, nor I trust you 
would not that nother for brother nor sister distayne 
mine honour nor conscience." As touching the 
prioress or Dame Eleanor's eldest sister, he adds, 
though there is no evidence against their character, 
and the prioress is "so old that of many years she 
could not be as she was named " — for there had been 
counter-charges by Dame Eleanor's partisans to the 
effect that the prioress had a past ! — " yet notwith- 
standing, to do you pleasure, I have done that nother 
of them shall have it, but some other and well- 
disposed woman shall have it, whereby the house 
shall be the better reformed (whereof I assure you 
it hath much need) and God much the better 

Wolsey was evidently alarmed at the King's rebuke 
from Ampthill, for he apologized — in a letter which 

Awaiting the Legate 


has been lost — and received in reply the royal for- 
giveness. " It is no great matter," wrote Henry ; 
" for it is yet in my hand, as I perceive by your 
letter ; and your fault was not so great, as the election 
was but conditional." 

It seems that Wolsey's appointment was not upset, 
since we find Isabel Jordan in the post of abbess in 
November. Anne's interference in the matter has 
been severely blamed ; but there is nothing to show 
that she knew of the bad character of Eleanor Carey, 
and many ladies before and since her time have 
interested themselves on behalf of people who have, 
on investigation, turned out to be entirely unworthy 
of recommendation. 

Soon after the affair of the abbess of Wilton, there 
was an expectation of Anne's return to Court. On 
July 2 ist Heneage wrote to Wolsey that she was 
coming with her mother that week, while " my lord 
Rocheford was to have come, but because of the 
sweat he remains at home," having apparently had 
a relapse. Du Bellay, in a letter to Montmorency, 
written in August, records her arrival ; and this 
appears to have been while the Court was at Ampthill. 
In a letter to Anne, in which he mentions the writing 
of his book and speaks of " summe pain in my head," 
enabling us by comparison with other correspondence 
to place it near the beginning of August, Henry 
assures her, " Myne owne swet hart, . . . methynketh 
the tyme longer syns your departing now last than I 
was wont to do a hole fortenyght." From this we 
may perhaps gather that she paid two brief visits 
to Ampthill, returning in each case to Hever. 

Another indelicate expression marks the close to 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

this letter, to the scandal of Anne's critics. But — 
"the blood of the Absolutes was always impatient," 
without undue reflections on the character of Miss 
Lydia Languish. 

Four more of Henry's letters must be assigned to 
this period. In one he begs " his mistress " to " tell 
my lord your father from me that I desire him to 
hasten the appointment by two days, that he may 
be at Court before the old term, or at least on the day 
arranged ; for otherwise I shall think he will not do 
the lovers' turn, as he said he would." In the second, 
apologizing (in English) for his " skant laysor " for 
writing, he tells her that, as touching a lodging for 
her, they had got one by my lord Cardinal's means, 
the like whereof could not have been found hereabout 
" for all causes," as the bearer of the letter would 
show her. Where Henry was when he wrote thus is 
not clear, though we know that he was at Windsor at 
the end of August. It is suggested that the lodging 
which had been procured for Anne by the Cardinal's 
means was Suffolk Lodge, in preparation for the 
Court's return to town. 

Before coming to the other two letters from Henry 
to Anne, we must stop to look at one from her to 
Cardinal Wolsey. She had only just had her struggle 
with him over the Wilton appointment. Yet now 
we see him exerting himself to procure a house for her 
in London, and about the same time she sends the 
following letter to him, of which the effusive language 
has excited the sarcastic comments of her detractors : 

" My Lord, — In my most humble wise that my 
poor heart can think I do thank Your Grace for your 

Awaiting the Legate 


kind letter, and for your rich and goodly presents, 
the which I shall never be able to deserve without 
your help, of the which I have hitherto had so great 
plenty that all the days of my life I am most bound, 
of all creatures next the King's Grace, to love and 
serve Your Grace ; of the which I beseech you never 
to doubt that ever I shall vary from this thought as 
long as any breath is in my body. And, as touching 
Your Grace's trouble with the sweat, I thank Our 
Lord that them that I desired and prayed for are 
scaped, and that is the King and you ; not doubting 
but that God has preserved you both for great causes 
known alonely of his high wisdom. And as for the 
coming of the Legate, I desire that much ; and, if 
it be God's pleasure, I pray Him to send this matter 
shortly to a good end, and then I trust, my Lord, 
to recompense part of your great pains. In the 
which I must require you, in the meantime, to accept 
my good will in the stead of the power, the which 
must proceed partly from you, as Our Lord knoweth ; 
to whom I beseech to send you long life, with continu- 
ance in honour. Written with the hand of her that 
is most bound to be 

" Your humble and obedient servant, 

"Anne Boleyn." 

The language of diplomacy, no doubt. But, then, 
Anne was a diplomatist, and could not have held her 
own had she not been a diplomatist. At the time, 
she must use Wolsey or fail. She used Wolsey. Nor 
did she hesitate to invoke his aid on behalf of clerics 
in whom she was interested ; for there exists a brief 
note sent to him about this period, in which she thanks 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

him for an attempted service to Mr. Barlov: (apparently 
William, afterwards Bishop of Chichester), and begs 
him to remember u the parson of Honey Lane."* 

To return to the royal love-letters, the next is 
somewhat mysterious. It is clear that somehow 
there had been a leakage of information meant by 
Henry for Anne's ears alone. It is easy to attribute 
this, as some do, to Anne's indiscretion or carelessness, 
her general levity of character, in fact. Henry, 
however, does not chide her very severely, it must 
be confessed ; so why need we ? 

" Darlyng," he writes — but we will not follow his 
spelling — 

" I heartily recommend me to you, ascertaining you 
that I am not a little perplexed with such things as 
your brother shall on my part declare unto you, to 
whom I pray you give full credence, for it were too 
long to write. In my last letters I wrote to you 
that I trusted shortly to see you, which is better 
known at London than with any that is about me, 
whereof I not a little marvel ; but lack of discreet 
handling must needs be the cause thereof. No more 
to you at this time, but that I trust shortly our 
meetings shall not depend upon other men's light 
handlings but upon your own. Written with the 
hand of him that longeth to be yours. 

" H.R." 

It is tempting to think that the ultimate appearance 
of Henry's celebrated letters at the Vatican might 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. IV., Appendix. 

Awaiting the Legate 


be connected with this leakage of information of which 
he complains. But, if so, both the above letter and two 
subsequent ones must have been similarly intercepted 
at some later date.* 

The last of the King's missives previous to the 
arrival of Campeggio seems to have been written 
from Windsor. It is as follows, apart from the 
spelling : 

" The reasonable request of your last letter, with 
the pleasure also that I take to know them true, 
causeth me to send you now these news. The Legate 
which we most desire arrived at Paris on Sunday or 
Monday last past, so that I trust by the next Monday 
to hear of his arrival at Calais, and then I trust within 
a while after to enjoy that which I have so longed 
long, to God's pleasure and our both comforts. No 
more to you at this present, myne awne darlyng, 
for lack of time, but that I would you were in mine 
arms, or I in yours, for I think it long since I kissed 
you. Written after the killing of a hart at n of 

* With regard to the interception of letters by foreign emissaries, 
a repoit from du Bellay to Montmorency (assigned in " Letters and 
Papers, Henry VIII.," provisionally to August 2oth(?), 1528) is in- 
teresting. We quote further passages to show the French ambassador's 
view of Wolsey's position at this time. Du Bellay says : 

' ' Mademoiselle Boulan has returned to Court. The intercepted letters 
that you sent me about this matter have caused them to think. ... I 
fancy that the King is so far committed to it that none but God can 
get him out. As to Wolsey, I do not believe he knows where he stands. 
I have been told on good authority . . . that, a little before this 
sweat, the King used most terrible language to him, because he seemed 
desirous to cool him and show him that the Pope would not consent 
to it. ... I think he sees that if this marriage is accomplished he will 
have much to do to maintain his influence ; and when he sees himself 
in despair of it, he will give out that he retires voluntarily." 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

the clock, minding, with God's grace, to-morrow 
mytely timely to kill another. By the hand which 
I trust shortly shall be yours. 

" Henry R." 


This chapter has been mainly composed of letters. 
That is of necessity ; and it is fortunate for the 
historian of Anne Boleyn that there are so many 
letters preserved to illustrate this particular epoch of 
her career, which otherwise would be as blank as 
many of the years before it. It is, on the other hand, 
unfortunate that of her letters to the King not one 
has been saved for us. Henry was more careful of 
the replies that he received from her than she was 
of the notes which he sent. Perhaps he destroyed 
them when, tired of her, he sent her to an ignominious 
death and turned to the demure charms of Jane 



AT last, on September 29th, 1528, Cardinal Cam- 
peggio set foot in England, having travelled 
with exceeding slowness and being very ill with gout. 
He was not a stranger to the country, and like numerous 
foreign prelates was a titular bishop here, his see 
being Salisbury. His appointment as Legate to decide 
the matter of the divorce had been urged by Wolsey 
from the first ; for it was felt that of all Legates who 
might be sent he was most likely to be favourable to 
the King's cause. It was not known, of course, 
what secret orders he had from Pope Clement to 
hinder him from giving the final verdict desired by 

The King clearly did not suspect the Legate of 
being likely to thwart him ; for he wrote, in the last 
of his extant letters to Anne Boleyn, that " the un- 
fained sickness of this well-willing Legate doth some- 
what retard his access to your presence, but I trust 
verily, when God shall send him health, he will with 
diligence recompense his demowre ; for I know well 
whereby he hath said (lamenting the saying and bruit 
that he should be Imperial) that it should be well 
known in this matter that he is not Imperial. ,, Not 
" Imperial," indeed, was Campeggio himself ; but the 
fear of the Emperor Charles was strong on the Pope, 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

and Campeggio was an obedient follower of his master's 
instructions, as was soon to be discovered. 

This same letter of Henry's informs Anne of his 
joy at understanding her " comformabylnes to reson " 
and her suppression of her inutille and vayne thoughts 
and fantesys with the brydell off reson," beseeching 
her to continue the same, not only in this matter, but 
in all her doings hereafter, for thereby should come to 
both of them " the greatest quietness that might be 
in this world." It can only be conjectured whether 
the thoughts and fantasies which Anne had sup- 
pressed had been inspired by a wish to retire from the 
ambiguous position which she held and renounce 
her ambition to be Queen or by an impatient desire 
to cut the knot now, which could not be done other- 
wise than by rejecting — as it was rejected later — the 
Papal authority and carrying out the threat which we 
have seen Foxe and Gardiner making to the Pope at 

That Anne was at Hever when she received this 
message appears from du Bellay's report on October 
6th that the King and Queen were coming to Green- 
wich that day, but he did not think Mademoiselle 
would yet leave her mother in Kent. 

The suffering Campeggio had reached Bath House, 
the residence assigned to him in London, on October 
8th and had gone straight to bed. It was not till the 
I2th that he felt well enough to present himself to 
the King at Bridewell Palace.* Next day a long 

* " Bridewell in Fleet Street," as Cavendish calls it. As showing 
the character of the neighbourhood then, it may be noted that 
Henry VIII., in 15 10, gave Cardinal Wolsey a house there, with an 
orchard and twelve gardens attached ! 

The Defeat of Wolsey 


discussion took place at Bath House between Henry 
and Campeggio j and on the following the Legate 
called on Queen Katharine. What came of these 
and subsequent interviews belongs only incidentally 
to the story of Anne Boleyn. It suffices to say that 
Katharine not only maintained that her marriage 
with Arthur had never been consummated, but 
(whether or not upon the advice of the councillors 
whom the King had assigned to her, of whom the 
moving spirit was Fisher, Bishop of Rochester) abso- 
lutely refused to simplify matters by expressing a 
wish to retire to a nunnery, as Campeggio suggested, 
or by receding in any way from her claim that she was 
Henry's lawful wife. She would die again and again, 
she declared, rather than give way. Henry, for his 
part, continued to press for the divorce without delay. 
Wolsey, urged on by the King and bitterly reviled by 
the Queen, attempted to put the screw on his Italian 
colleague, so that divorce proceedings might start — 
and then found how they had been tricked by Pope 
Clement. He had come over in order to form an opinion 
on the case, said Campeggio, which he was to let the 
Pope know ; after that he must wait for further 

Wolsey's consternation is revealed in one of his 
letters. On November ist, 1528, he writes to Gregory 
Casale* of Henry's dissatisfaction with Campeggio, 
and especially with his attempt to dissuade a divorce 
until he shall have made a report to the Pope, and his 
refusal to entrust Wolsey, though he is his colleague, 
with his commission from Rome. Those who pre- 
dicted that nothing but causes for delay would be 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. IV., page 2120. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

invented are right, and the King feels his honour 
touched, especially considering what a benefactor 
he has been to the Church. " I cannot reflect upon 
this and close my eyes," continues Wolsey, " for I see 
ruin, infamy and subversion of the whole dignity and 
estimation of the Apostolic See if this course be per- 
sisted in. . . .If the Pope will consider the gravity 
of this cause, and how much the safety of the nation 
depends upon it, he will see that the course which he 
now pursues will drive the King to adopt those re- 
medies which are injurious to the Pope and are fre- 
quently instilled into the King's mind. Without the 
Pope's compliance I cannot bear up against the 

The remedies injurious to the Pope are, of course, 
the carrying out of the threat that the King would 
"do it without him ; " and the ins tillers may well 
have been Anne and other members of the Boleyn 
party, so many of whom were already under the 
influence of the Reform movement. Henry, however, 
always anxious about the health of his soul, was most 
reluctant to break with the Pope, if only he could 
attain his ends without doing so. He was fully aware, 
too, that the country was not ready to follow him. 
Even the idea of the divorce was unpopular, largely 
owing to the favour with which Katharine was re- 
garded. To put himself right in the people's eyes, he 
went to the extreme step of calling a meeting at 
Bridewell Palace on Sunday, November 8th, where 
in the presence of the Lord Mayor and council of 
London, his own Privy Council, and the greater part 
of lords of the land and other personages having 
charge of his affairs, as du Bellay records, he made an 

The Defeat of Wolsey 


attempt to state his case. He spoke of the perils of 
a disputed succession to the throne, and expounded 
the trouble of his conscience that he and Katharine, 
in the opinion of M divers great clerks," had been 
living so long in open adultery. He protested the 
sincerity of his desire to know whether or not his 
marriage was valid, to decide which the Legate had 
been sent to England. Du Bellay mentions a report 
that he concluded with a threat (which would rather 
have marred the effect of his speech) that he meant 
to be master, and that " there was no head so fine 
but he would make it fly ! " 

Henry decided also to strengthen his cause with 
the Pope by dispatching another mission, consisting 
of Sir Francis Bryan and Peter Vannes, an Italian. 
Taking advantage of Clement's return at last to Rome, 
he instructed them to offer his congratulations, and 
at the same time to try to alienate His Holiness as 
much as possible from the Emperor and u confirm 
him in love to the King, so that he may be the more 
ready to grant any petition of the King, as in the great 
and weighty matter of the divorce." They were to 
discover whether Clement, in the event of Katharine 
being induced to " enter lax religion " — i.e., make 
some sort of retreat to a nunnery — would, of his 
absolute power, grant the King dispensation to pro- 
ceed to a second marriage, with legitimation of the 
children ; or, should Katharine refuse, grant him 
dispensation to have two wives, the issue of the second 
marriage being equally legitimate with that of the 
first. They were further instructed to make secret 
inquiry into the genuineness of a copy of the brief 
of Pope Julius II. giving dispensation for the marriage 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

of 1509, which Katharine, with the Emperor's aid, 
had produced in support of her case.* 

While Henry waited for the result of this hopeful 
mission, and while Katharine resisted every attempt 
to bend her will, Court life went on much as it had 
been going during the preceding months, except that 
it was now spent in or near town. 

On December 9th, du Bellay wrote to Montmorency 
of the King's goings and comings between London 
and Greenwich (where Katharine was living), and how 
Mademoiselle de Boulan had at last come to Green- 
wich, where " the King has lodged her in a very fine 
lodging which he has prepared for her close by his 
own. Greater court is now paid her," he continues, 
" than has been to the Queen for a long time. I see 
they mean to accustom the people by degrees to en- 
dure her, so that when the great blow comes it may 
not be thought strange. However, the people remain 
quite hardened, and I think they would do more if they 
had more power ; but great order is continually taken." 

Hall's <( Chronicle" bears out what du Bellay says 
with regard to the popular attitude ; for he records 
that " the common people, being ignorant, and others 
that favoured the Queen talked largely . . . with 
many foolish words ; inasmuch as whosoever spake 
against the marriage [with Katharine] was of the 
common people abhorred and reproved." 

For Christmas the whole Court was at Greenwich, 
where, writes du Bellay, " open house is kept by both 
King and Queen, as it used to be in former years. 

* See instructions to Bryan and Vannes, aDd to these two with 
Knight, William Benet and Casale, in " Letters and Papers, 
Henry VIII.," Vol. IV., pages 2155-61. 

The Defeat of Wolsey 


Mademoiselle de Boulan is also there, having her 
establishment apart, as, I imagine, she does not like 
to meet the Queen. I expect that things will remain 
in this state until the return of Bryan." 

It is not astonishing to hear that, amid the Christmas 
festivities, the Queen " made no great joy of nothing, 
her mind was so troubled." All the comfort she could 
get from Campeggio was a repetition of his advice to 
enter religion ; and she cannot but have known that 
extraordinary efforts were being made by her hus- 
band's agents in Rome to get over the difficulty of her 
persistent refusal to take this course. 

Another person who must have seen the opening 
of 1529 with grave misgivings was Wolsey. Du 
Bellay near the end of January pictures him to Mont- 
morency as in great difficulty, " since the affair has 
gone so far that if it do not take effect the King will 
fall out with him ; and if it do he will have to carry 
it with a strong hand." With the favourite he had 
had a quarrel over Sir Thomas Cheyney, who had 
caused a difference of opinion between them before, 
as we have seen, though in neither case do we know 
the reason. This time Cheyney had somehow offended 
the Cardinal, and in consequence had been put out 
of the Court. But " the young lady has put him in 
again, and used very rude words of Wolsey. Think 
what the effect of this may be," continues du Bellay. 
" The Duke of Norfolk and his party already begin to 
talk big ; but certainly they have to do with one 
subtler than themselves." 

Similarly Mendoza reports to his master the Emperor 
on February 4th : " This lady who is the cause of 
all the disorder, finding her marriage delayed which 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

she thought herself so sure of, entertains great suspicion 
that the English Cardinal puts impediments in her 
way, from a belief that if she were Queen his power 
would decline. In this suspicion she is joined by her 
father and the two Dukes of Suffolk and Norfolk, 
who have combined to overthrow the Cardinal ; but 
as yet they have made no impression on the King, 
except that he shows him at Court not quite so good 
countenance as he did, and that he has said some 
disagreeable words to him." 

The expected news from Rome came through very 
slowly. On January 29th Bryan had written to the 
King to announce his arrival in Florence, sending a 
message to his cousin. " I would have written to my 
mistress that shall be," he says, " but I will not write 
to her until I may write that shall please her most 
in this world. I pray God to send Your Grace and 
her long life and merry, or else me a short end." 
Then there was a delay. On reaching Rome the 
envoys discovered the Pope seriously ill, and they 
could not see him. Indeed, he was reported dead 
soon after, whereon Henry and Wolsey feverishly set 
to work to secure a successor who should favour them 
rather than the Emperor — and in preference to anyone 
else Wolsey himself, who had long aspired to be 
Pope — for which desirable end they were prepared 
to spend money lavishly. 

In the meantime Gardiner had been sent to Rome 
in February to reinforce still further the English 
pleaders. He had not felt hopeful, as he wrote to 
Henry ; and he found his anticipation justified when 
at last the convalescent Pope was ready to receive 
the King's representatives. Professions of good will 

From an engraving by Maloeuvre, after Titian's painting. 

Pope Clement VII. 

[To face p. 92. 

The Defeat of Wolsey 


abounded ; but clearly the Imperial influence was too 
strong, and nothing but words would be obtained 
from His Holiness. 

During Gardiner's stay in Rome a very curious 
letter was written to him by Anne, dated from Green- 
wich, April 4th. In this she expresses the hope that 
the end of this journey of his will be more pleasant 
to her than his first journey, " for that was but 
a rejoicing hope, which causing the like of it does 
put me to the more pain and they that are partakers 
with me, as you do know ; and therefore I trust 
that this hard beginning shall make the better ending." 

" Master Stephyns," continues Anne, " I send you 
here cramp-rings for you and Master Gregory and Mr. 
Peter " — Casale and Vannes were in Rome with him 
— " praying you to distribute them as you think 
best." These precious gifts of a sovereign remedy 
against such afflictions of the Evil One as cramp 
were no doubt begged by her from King Henry. For, 
as Gardiner himself wrote to Ridley in the reign of 
Edward VI, " the late King used to bless these cramp- 
rings, both of gold and of silver, which were much 
esteemed everywhere, and when he was abroad they 
were often desired from him."* 

Before the end of April it became obvious that the 
mission to Rome had failed. On the 21st Bryan 
informed Henry that the Pope would do nothing for 
him. " No men are more heavy than we that we 
cannot bring things to pass as we would," he wrote. 
" I trust never to die but that Your Grace will be able 
to requite the Pope and Popys, and not be fed with 

* The office for the consecration of the rings, as used under Queen 
Mary, may be found in Burnet's " History of the Reformation,-' 
Vol. V., page 445. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

their flattering words/' (No wonder that Bryan in- 
curred the enmity of loyal Roman Catholics !) He 
added : "I have written to my cousin Anne ; but I 
dare not write to her the whole truth, but will refer 
her to Your Grace to make her privy to all the news." 

Worse still, on May 4th, Gardiner wrote to Henry 
that it was in question whether the commission which 
the Pope had given to the two Legates should not be 
revoked ; and next day Bryan sent a letter in which 
occur the words : "I dare not write unto my cousin 
Anne the truth of this matter. ... If she be angry 
with me, I t most humbly desire Your Grace to make 
mine excuse." It looks as if Sir Francis had some 
reason to know his cousin Anne's temper ! 

Alarmed at the possibility of the Legates' commission 
being revoked, Henry took prompt steps to set Wolsey 
and Campeggio to work before such an order could 
arrive. His license to them to proceed in the cause 
touching the King's marriage is dated from Windsor, 
May 30th ; and preparations were immediately made 
for the trial before the Legates in the great hall of the 
monastery of the Friars Minors, or Blackfriars. 
On June 14th Henry and his Court came up to London 
by water. Du Bellay records how the King '* landed 
in passing at my lord of Rochford's [Durham House], 
with a small company of ladies and gentlemen, where 
he waited for the tide, and then went on to Greenwich." 
The French ambassador fears that for some time past 
the King " has come very near to Mademoiselle Anne," 
so that Montmorency need not be surprised if they 
are anxious to hasten matters — car si la ventre croist 
tout sera gate. There does not seem any warrant for 
du Bellay's suggestion. No doubt the King had 

The Defeat of Wolsey 


come as near to the lady as she would let him ; but 
she does not appear to have relaxed her chaste 
attitude, incredible though it may seem to her 
critics. If we take only a low estimate of her moral 
character, we may at least give her the credit for not 
surrendering when there was so much doubt still about 
obtaining the divorce. She may have sympathized 
with Bryan's wish concerning " Popys " ; but was she 
sure that the soul-tender Henry would follow her ? 
He was still showering gifts upon her. At the end 
of May a warrant had been issued to Lord Windsor, 
Keeper of the Great Wardrobe, to furnish the Lady 
Anne Rochford with a most magnificent outfit of 
harness, saddles and trappings for her riding-horses, 
and " the moylettes that carry her litter." It was 
a different matter, however, when she had to deal, not 
with her royal lover's purse, but with his conscience. 

The Legatine Court now began its sessions, after 
a wrangle over Campeggio's insistence that he, not 
Wolsey, should preside as principal judge. On June 
18th proceedings commenced, the King being repre- 
sented by a proxy, while the Queen appeared and 
registered her protest against the Court's jurisdiction. 
Both King and Queen were present at the next session, 
three days later, when Katharine made a dramatic 
exit, declaring : " This is no impartial court to me," 
and disregarding Henry's summons to return. If she 
was to be found no wife after twenty years of marriage, 
it would be without her connivance. Rather than 
appear again she allowed herself to be pronounced 
" contumacious." 

Burnet records that Anne Boleyn was away from 
London at the time of the trial, " for silencing the 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

noise that her being at Court during the process would 
have occasioned." Probably she was at Hever. Her 
father was among the witnesses on the King's side, 
and on July 15th gave evidence that about two years 
ago Henry, on his confessor's advice, abstained from 
intercourse with Katharine, "so as not to offend his 

Lord Rochford made another appearance in con- 
nection with the trial, on that day of which Cavendish 
tells us, when the King, impatient at the slowness of 
the proceedings, sent for Wolsey and had a talk with 
him at Bridewell from eleven o'clock to noon. On 
leaving the Palace Wolsey took his barge at Black- 
friars and started home for Westminster. With him 
was one of the bishops, who, wiping his face, observed 
that it was a very hot day. " Yea," replied the 
Cardinal, "if ye had been as well chafed as I have 
been within this hour, ye would say it was very hot ! " 
When he reached York Place, Wolsey went to bed. 
But in less than two hours he was disturbed by the 
Earl of Wiltshire (as Cavendish prematurely calls 
Lord Rochford), with a message from the King. 
The poor Cardinal was required, " incontinent," to 
repair with Campeggio to the Queen at Bridewell and 
attempt to persuade her to abandon her case, rather 
than let it be fought out and lost by her. He aroused 
himself and gave Rochford a piece of his mind, rating 
him for the bad ideas which he and other lords of 
the council put into the King's head, whereby they 
were the cause of great trouble to the realm and would 
in the end get " but small thanks either of God or of 
the world." This rebuke, Cavendish says, made Roch- 
ford " water his eyes." Nevertheless, Wolsey went 

The Defeat of Wolsey 


to fetch the other Cardinal from Bath House, and 
together they proceeded to Bridewell, where Katharine 
received them coldly and altogether refused to consider 
their suggestion. 

Meanwhile from Rome, Dr. William Benet, who, 
with Casale and Vannes, had remained to represent 
English interests, wrote on July 9th to say that the 
Pope, with tears, had told them that the " Caesarians " 
had shown a mandate from the Queen, demanding the 
advocation of her cause to Rome, and he could not re- 
fuse it. Clement himself, now entirely in the Emperor's 
power again, wrote ten days later to Wolsey, expressing 
his sorrow at having had to adopt this course, which 
he had delayed doing as long as possible, and begging 
him to keep Henry well disposed to the Holy See. 

In London the sessions of the Legatine Court had 
been suspended on July 29th, Campeggio (who had 
come to the conclusion that, if he must give sentence, 
it must be in favour of the validity of the marriage*) 
insisting on a recess until October 1st. Nothing had 
been accomplished ; and now, to crown Henry's 
discomfiture, came a confirmation of the Pope's decision 
to revoke the Legates' commission to try the case. All 
the King could extract from Campeggio was a promise 
that he had not divulged, and would not divulge, 
to the Pope or anyone else his opinion on the case, 
and that on its advocation to Rome he would use all 
efforts with the Pope not to allow the Queen to prose- 
cute it. This was a poor result for all the months 
that had passed since the granting of the commission. 
Furiously Henry " commanded the Queen to be 

* See letter to the Emperor from his agents in Rome, September 3rd, 
1529. (" Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. IV., page 2645.) 


98 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

removed out of the Court to another place/' says 
Cavendish, and " rode in his progress with Mistress 
Anne Boleyn all the grece season."* 

As usual, at this time of year, Henry made his way 
towards the Midlands ; and at Woodstock, where they 
were between August 25th and September 12th, he 
and Anne must have had much to discuss about the 
failure of the Legates to make it possible for them 
to marry. The favourite had now abandoned hope 
of being able to use Wolsey to accomplish her ends. 
In revenge, she succeeded in persuading Henry to 
deal with the Cardinal only through the medium of 
Gardiner, newly appointed chief secretary to the 
King, instead of as heretofore direct. But this was 
not enough for her and her supporters. The whole 
Boleyn party, indeed, had determined to get rid of 
Wolsey altogether, and as speedily as possible, while 
the King was smarting under the sense of his defeat. 
They reckoned, however, without sufficient knowledge 
of Henry's obstinacy — which looks almost like a 
sense of gratitude in this case, if we may believe him 
capable of such a feeling — and reluctance to throw 
off completely the Cardinal's yoke. They were soon 
disillusioned. On September 19th Wolsey arrived 
with Campeggio, who had come to take farewell of 
the King at Grafton, in Northamptonshire. Here 
Henry was staying with a large Court, which included 
Anne Boleyn, but did not include the Queen. Caven- 
dish, who accompanied Wolsey, records that it was 
the opinion at Court that the King would not speak 
to Wolsey, and " thereupon were laid many large 

* This is explained as the hunting season, when the hart is "in 
grease. 1 * 

The Defeat of Wolsey 


wagers." It looked as if the speculators were right 
when the Cardinal found no lodging prepared for him 
until Sir Henry Norris, groom of the stole, in com- 
passion offered him his own room, apologizing for 
the scanty accommodation at Grafton. Cavendish, 
however, secured him lodgings elsewhere in the 

Henry received the two cardinals in the presence 
of his Court, all eager to see what would happen. 
To the general surprise, he not only greeted him 
amiably, but took him aside to a big window and 
talked with him privately. " Then to behold the 
countenance of those that had made their wagers 
to the contrary," says Cavendish, " it would have 
made you smile." Fixing an appointment to see 
Wolsey again after dinner, Henry " departed and 
dined that same day with Mrs. Anne Boleyn, in her 
chamber, who kept there an estate more like a queen 
than a simple maid." 

Cavendish got to hear, from those that waited 
upon the King at dinner, of a conversation be- 
tween him and his favourite, which we give in the 
chronicler's own words : 

" Mistress Anne Boleyn was much offended with 
the King, as far as she durst, that he so gently en- 
tertained my lord. . . . ' Sir/ quoth she, ' is it not 
a marvellous thing to consider what debt and danger 
the Cardinal hath brought you in with all your sub- 
jects ? ' ' How so, sweetheart ? ' quoth the King. 
' Forsooth,' quoth she, ' there is not a man within 
all your realm worth five pounds but he hath indebted 
you to him ' (meaning by a loan that the King had 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

but late of his subjects). 1 Well, well/ quoth the 
King, ' as for that, there is in him no blame ; for I 
know that matter better than you or any other.' 
' Nay, Sir,' quoth she, 1 besides all that, what things 
hath he wrought within this realm to your great 
slander and dishonour ? There is never a nobleman 
within this realm that if he had done but half so much 
as he hath done, but he were well worthy to lose his 
head. If my Lord of Norfolk, my Lord of Suffolk, 
my lord my father, or any other noble person within 
your realm had done much less than he, but they 
should have lost their heads or this.' ' Why, then 
I perceive,' quoth the King, 1 ye are not the Cardinal's 
friend ? ' 1 Forsooth, Sir,' then quoth she, ' I have 
no cause, nor any other that loveth Your Grace, no 
more have Your Grace, if ye consider well his doings.' " 

Henry saw the Cardinal again in the presence- 
chamber after dinner, conversing with him once more 
in the window, and then took him to his own room. 
Here he kept him talking until late, when Wolsey 
left to escort Campeggio for a little distance on his 
road before going to his own lodgings to sleep. 

The next morning Wolsey called early at Grafton 
and found the King on horse, just about to ride with 
Anne to view the ground for a new park — afterwards 
Hartwell Park — where she had made arrangements 
that they should dine that day. Cavendish says 
that this journey was " by special labour of Mistress 
Anne," who rode with the King only to lead him 
about, so that he should not return until the Cardinal 
had left Grafton. According to Thomas Alward, 
keeper of Wolsey's wardrobe, in a letter to Cromwell,* 

* Singer's edition of " Cavendish,'' Vol. II., page 277. 

The Defeat of Wolsey 


Wolsey had " long talkyng " with the King in his 
privy chamber before Henry went hunting. But 
Cavendish says that Henry told Wolsey he could not 

That Wolsey's enemies recognized that he was not 
yet quite beaten is evident from Alward's statement 
to Cromwell that at Grafton the Duke of Suffolk, 
Lord Rochford and others " did as gently behave 
themselves with as moche observance and humylyte 
to my lord's grace as ever I sawe theym do at any 
time tofor. What they bere in their harts/' he adds, 
" I knowe not." 

Wolsey knew well enough, however ; and it was 
with a heavy spirit that he returned to town without 
seeing the King again. In fact, he was destined 
never to meet him again after this, though not 
left without kind words, which availed him nothing. 
There was one last hope ; and with that in view the 
audacious step was taken of seizing and searching 
Campeggio's luggage before he left English soil. The 
current rumour was that it was feared he was carry- 
ing off Wolsey's accumulated treasure for him to 
Rome. A later story was that Campeggio had got 
hold of Henry's love-letters to Anne Boleyn and was 
taking them to Rome. It is true that those 
letters did go to Rome ; but not, apparently, under 
cover of Campeggio's baggage. What was really 
wanted was the decretal from the Pope authorizing the 
Legates to act jointly or alone, which Campeggio was 
supposed to have in his possession. Armed with 
this, Wolsey might have disregarded Clement's with- 
drawal of the joint powers conferred on him and 
Campeggio. But the Italian had destroyed the 

102 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

document, and all that was found in his baggage seems 
to have been old clothes — " such vile stuff as no honest 
man would carry," says Hall ! 

Wolsey's last chance was gone, and the blow he 
dreaded was swift in falling. On October 9th he 
went to Westminster Hall to perform his duties as 
Chancellor for the last time. The same day a bill of 
indictment was prepared against him in the King's 
Bench, by Christopher Hales, Attorney-General. Two 
days later the Dukes of Suffolk and Norfolk appeared 
at York Place to demand the Great Seal of England 
from him. As they had come without the King's 
letters patent, the Cardinal refused ; but they came 
again with the necessary authority, and on the 17th 
he gave up the seal. It was indeed 

" Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness ! " 

Stripping himself of his many possessions, he made 
them over to the King, and, taking his barge from 
York Place to Putney, he rode from there to Esher 
on mule-back, a poor Cardinal and nothing more. 
Though he had a house at Esher, as Bishop of Win- 
chester, it was unfurnished, and for some weeks he 
had to make shift with what he could borrow, even for 
the beds to lie upon and the tables to eat at. With 
him were still some of his household, including the 
faithful Cavendish and Thomas Cromwell. But 
Cromwell — who was destined to play no small part 
in the fate of Anne Boleyn — left Esher on "All Hal- 
lown Day," November 1st, telling Cavendish more 
than once that he was off to Court, " where I will 
either make or mar." How he "made" is a great 
matter in English Church history. 



THE fall of Wolsey was accompanied by the 
almost complete triumph of the Boleyn party, 
even if the new Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, was no 
friend of theirs. The Duke of Norfolk, still hand in 
glove with them, became head of the Council, though 
his moderate abilities did not long permit him to 
exercise any real power. The Duke of Suffolk, still 
less able, acted as his deputy in the Council. For 
Thomas Boleyn further gratifications of his ambition 
were in store, though it was not actually until 
December 8th, 1529, that at the royal palace of Bride- 
well he was created Earl of Wiltshire in England and 
of Ormonde in Ireland, thus at last uniting all the 
titles which had been in his mother's family.* Some 
six weeks after his elevation he was made Lord Privy 
Seal. George Boleyn shared in his father's rise. In 
October he was appointed ambassador to France in 
conjunction with Dr. Stokesley, soon to be Bishop 
of London ; and in December he succeeded his father 
as Viscount Rochford. As for Anne, henceforward 

* James Butler, elder son of the fourth Earl of Ormonde, was 
created by Henry VI. Earl of Wiltshire during the lifetime of his father. 
In 1452 he succeeded to his father's title as well ; but when the Lan- 
castrian cause was ruined in 1461 he was attainted and beheaded, 
and his brother succeeded to the earldom of Ormonde only, the Wilt- 
shire title lapsing. 

We have seen that Rochford was a Butler title also. 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

styled officially Lady Anne Rochford, she was, in the 
words of du Bellay, " at the head of all." On the 
day following Wiltshire's earldom a banquet was 
given by the King, at which Anne had the place of 
honour, the Queen not being present. The Duchesses of 
Norfolk and Suffolk — the latter the King's own sister 
and Anne's former mistress — and all other ladies there 
had to yield her precedence. To follow the banquet 
came a ball and " such feasts and rejoicings that 
nothing seemed wanting but the priest to make the 
lovers exchange their rings." 

Such is the account given by a new chronicler of 
contemporary events, who now comes on the scene 
and who is one of the bitterest critics of Anne Boleyn. 
This is Eustache Chapuys, whom, following on the 
Peace of Cambrai, the Emperor Charles had accredited 
as his ambassador in England in September, 1529. 
If we make due allowance for his heavy bias against 
her whom he never deigns to call otherwise than " the 
Lady" — and, later, worse names — we shall find 
Chapuys a valuable addition to the authorities for 
our story. 

Wolsey in the meanwhile was in the depths of 
despair. Visiting him when the crash first came, du 
Bellay had found his state pitiful. His principal hope 
seemed to he in getting the assistance of King 
Francis to break his fall. " The worst of his evil," 
writes the ambassador to Montmorency, " is that 
Mademoiselle de Boulen has made her friend promise 
that he will never give him a hearing ; for she thinks 
he could not help having pity upon him." There 
was certainly a pronounced strain of vindictiveness 
in Anne's character, and she did not fail to show it 

The Boleyns' Triumph 


towards the Cardinal. For this, in his case, the only 
excuse is that not even now could his enemies feel 
sure that he was done with. Norfolk's fear of him, 
months later, was demonstrated when in March he 
induced the King to cancel his permission for the 
stricken man to remain at Hampton Court and to 
order him North. 

Henry was quick to take advantage of the material 
gain which accrued to him from the ruin of his great 
minister. Writing to the Emperor on October 25th, 
Chapuys records a secret visit of the King the previous 
day to view the treasures Wolsey had made over to him, 
which he found much greater than he expected. " He 
took with him sa mye, her mother and a gentleman 
of his chamber." Similarly, du Bellay two days later, 
informing Montmorency of the coming assembly of 
Parliament, says that during the session the King 
would occupy the house that belonged to the Cardinal 
and that he was coming that day to arrange for his 

The house was York Place, which Wolsey, under 
protest, had been induced to give to Henry with the 
rest of his property, though it belonged not to him 
personally but to the Archbishops of York. As a 
matter of fact, he had made no formal conveyance 
of it yet ; but Henry did not wait for that. He saw 
in York Place a convenient London residence in 
which he might house Anne, to spare her the incon- 
venience of meeting Katharine at Bridewell or Green- 
wich. From the Cardinal's sumptuous house grew 
the royal palace of Whitehall. 

There was, and indeed there could be, no limit to 
Wolsey 's complaisance. His very life hung by a 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

thread on the King's mercy or caprice. It is true 
that after the bitter attack on him by Sir Thomas 
More at the opening of Parliament, Henry had sent 
him a " Turkis M ring, with a friendly message, and 
had followed these up with a patent of protection. But 
Wolsey knew his enemies' persistence and the King's 
unreliable nature. Acting on the advice of Cromwell, 
who in Parliament seems to have made a genuine 
effort to save his former employer, he consented to 
various grants to Court favourites out of such funds 
as he was still allowed to handle. George Boleyn, 
for instance, before the end of the year had annui- 
ties of £200 out of the lands of the bishopric of Win- 
chester and of 200 marks out of the abbey lands of 
St. Albans. That Wolsey appreciated, however, that 
Anne Boleyn was " at the head of it all " is clear from 
a letter which he wrote to Cromwell : "If the dis- 
pleasure of my lady Anne be somewhat assuaged, 
as I pray God the same may be, then it should be 
devised that by some convenient mean she be further 
laboured, for this is the only help and remedy. All 
possible means must be used for attaining of her 

Possibly this letter should follow the incident 
recorded by Cavendish of Wolsey's serious illness 
at Esher at Christmas. The Cardinal's physician, 
Agostino, a Venetian, who subsequently betrayed 
him, was alarmed ; and Henry, hearing the news, 
dispatched Dr. Butts to visit him. The doctor 
reported him in grave danger of death, reports 
Cavendish, unless he should shortly receive comfort 
from the King and from Mistress Anne. Thereupon 
the King commanded Butts to return to the patient 

The Boleyns' Triumph 107 

with a ring showing his own visage within a ruby, 
and with a cheering message. Turning to Anne, 
Henry said : " Good sweetheart, I pray you at this 
my instance, as ye love us, to send the Cardinal a 
token with comfortable words ; and in so doing ye 
shall do us a loving pleasure." Anne, not being 
minded to disobey the King, whatever she felt in her 
heart, " took incontinent her tablet of gold hanging 
at her girdle, and delivered it to Master Buttes, with 
very gentle and comfortable words and commenda- 
tions to the Cardinal." 

Chapuys, commenting on this affair to the Emperor, 
says : " The Lady . . . represented herself as favour- 
ing him with the King. This is difficult of belief, 
considering the hatred she has always borne him. 
She must have thought he was dying or shown her 
dissimulation or love of intrigue, of which she is an 
accomplished mistress." 

Another incident of Christmas, 1530, is preserved 
for us in a letter written by Queen Katharine to the 
Pope.* On Christmas Eve, she says, she saw the 
King in private and took the opportunity to upbraid 
him for the scandal which he was creating by keeping 
Anne in his company. Henry, however, was im- 
penitent, and replied that there was no wrong in his 
relations with the Lady. He kept her in his company 
in order to learn her character, as he had determined 
to marry her ; and marry her he would, whatever 
the Pope might say ! It is difficult to understand 
how, after this, Katharine had still hopes of winning 
the King back. 

* Quoted by Friedmann, Vol. I., page 130, from the Vienna 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Anne's relenting towards the Cardinal seems to have 
been of short duration, if we may trust Chapuys. 
He says that Sir John Russell told him that, in con- 
sequence of some words that he had spoken to the King 
in Wolsey's favour, the Lady had been very angry 
and had refused to speak with him. Moreover, the 
Duke of Norfolk had informed Russell that she was 
irritated with him too, because he had not done as 
much against Wolsey as he might. Norfolk soon 
made up for this laxness ! 

In the same letter, which is dated February 6th, 
1530, Chapuys complains that the treatment of the 
Queen is worse than ever. M The King is away from 
her as much as possible, and is here with the Lady, 
while the Queen is at Richmond. He has never 
been so long without paying her a visit, and makes 
it his excuse that someone has died of the plague 
near her residence." 

Wolsey had now recovered from his serious illness, 
but found the King still inclined to be gracious to 
him. Some fine presents reached him on Candlemas 
Day ; and, having at length made a formal conveyance 
of York Place, he received on February 12th a full 
pardon and two days later was restored to the arch- 
bishopric of York and all its possessions except the 
town house. It looked, indeed, to his enemies as if the 
chances of his recovery of favour were not impossible, 
which no doubt accounts for the bitterness of Anne 
and for Norfolk's action in getting him banished 
from the neighbourhood of the King. 

The results of the Cardinal's removal from the con- 
duct of affairs had not been such as to please Henry. 
The Pope was fully reconciled to the Emperor now, 

The Boleyns* Triumph 


a nd in Fe bruary had crowned him at Bologna, where 
Charles remained in council with him. An outcome 
of this was the issue of a Papal brief, to be affixed to 
the gates of the churches, inhibiting Henry from 
proceeding to a second marriage (as it was rumoured 
in Europe that he intended doing), under penalty of 
excommunication and of an interdict on his kingdom. 
"Already, in alarm at the meeting of Pope and Emperor, 
Henry had determined to send a special envoy to 
Bologna to plead with them on his behalf. He selected 
the Earl of Wiltshire, who hastened out to Italy, 
taking with him his chaplain, Thomas Cranmer, and 
being joined by Stokesley. It is a curious testimony 
to the rapid advance of Cromwell that he, in the past 
looked on as an enemy of the Boleyns owing to his 
connection with Wolsey, was at first reported as going 
to accompany the Earl ; but he did not go. 

Wiltshire reached Bologna on March 14th and was 
totally unable to effect anything with the Pope and 
the Emperor. Indeed, he suffered the indignity of 
having a citation served upon him for Henry to appear 
in Rome, in person or by proxy, to have his cause 
tried there. The only mitigation he could obtain, 
after the Emperor had taken his departure, was that 
the Pope should agree to six weeks' delay. 

This was a bitter dose for Henry ; and he had 
already been irritated by young Rochford's failure 
in his French mission. The principal object of that 
had been to influence the universities of France in 
favoui of Henry's view of his marriage with Katharine. 
Cavendish seems to claim for Wolsey the first credit 
of the idea of getting the opinions of the universities 
of Christendom on the point ; but Cranmer is 

no The Life of Anne Boleyn 

usually supposed to have been the instigator. The 
campaign was in full swing in the early months 
of 1530. The difficulty was that the bulk of Europe 
was under Imperial control, and that in consequence, 
outside England, there were only France and Northern 
Italy to whom there was any chance of a successful 
appeal. Northern Italy offered hopes through French 
influence alone ; and even in France there was no 
certainty of success, however much money Henry 
might spend to gain his object. The University of Paris, 
in fact, was very hard to win over to the King's side. 

Rochford, inexperienced in diplomacy, failed and 
was replaced by another ambassador. The special 
mission was put into the hands of his wily father, 
on his way back from Bologna. In Imperial circles 
there was jubilation over the supposed complete 
upset of the Boleyn hopes. Several letters to the 
Emperor from Miguel Mai, his representative in 
Rome, illustrate this. He reports a rumour that 
Wiltshire has lost all hope, and, though he does not 
believe it, that King Henry in consequence has given 
Mrs. Anne certain goods for her support ; and, again, 
that Wiltshire wishes to marry his daughter to 
Norfolk's son (the Earl of Surrey), since she cannot 
marry the King. 

There was certainly considerable uneasiness in the 
minds of the heterogeneous party which had over- 
thrown Wolsey and were now trying to rule England, 
or Henry, in his place. But we do not find any 
indication that the Boleyns — that is to say, Anne 
and her father — had abated their hopes, or that 
there was any idea of finding another match, such as 
Mai suggests . for the young lady. What does appear 

The Boleyns' Triumph ill 

is that there was a rift in the party, now that Wolsey 
was safely exiled to his Northern diocese. Norfolk 
was not satisfied with his limited power ; and his 
wife was a strong partisan of Queen Katharine. 
Suffolk, brother-in-law of the King, had been content 
to fight with the Boleyns against the Cardinal j but 
he was, through his wife, in the possible line of succes- 
sion to the throne, and he was not content to see 
Boleyn's daughter take precedence over her. A 
strange tale about Suffolk is reported to the Emperor 
by Chapuys in his letter of May ioth.* For long, 
he writes, the Duke has not been at Court, and it is 
said that he has been banished because he revealed to 
the King that " the Lady " had been discovered in 
compromising circumstances with a gentleman of the 
Court who had formerly been driven from it on 
suspicion ; " and this time he had been made to leave 
it at the instance of the said Lady, who pretended 
to be very angry with him, but at last the King 
interceded with her that the gentleman should return 
to Court." 

The allusion certainly seems to be to Thomas Wyatt, 
who, his grandson says, " was twice sifted and lifted 
at, and that nobleman [Suffolk] both times his most 
heavy adversary." We shall hear of the second 
occasion later. Whether George Wyatt refers to 
this as the first, we cannot say. There appears no 
corroboration of the Imperial ambassador's story, 
apart from a brief absence of Suffolk's name from the 
records. Charles Brandon was a bad and unscrupulous 
man, who may well have clutched at anything to 

* Quoted by Friedmann, Vol. I„ page 121, from the Vienna 
archives. Not in " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII. 11 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

stop the King's marriage with Anne Boleyn. He 
failed now in his attempt (if he made one), as he 
failed later to ruin Wyatt. 

It is quite clear that Anne in no way lost favour 
with the King at this time. At the end of May we 
hear of King, Queen and Mistress Anne all at Hampton 
Court together. No efforts were relaxed to put 
further pressure on the Pope to alter his attitude. 
In July a petition was forwarded to Rome, with 
thirteen columns of signatures of the spiritual and 
temporal lords of England — including that of Wolsey 
as Archbishop ot York — praying His Holiness to 
consent to the King's desires and pointing out the 
evils arising from delay. 

Almost at the same time Miguel Mai was writing 
to the Emperor that Clement was sending to England 
a new nuncio, Antonio, Baron de Burgo, " with no 
other wish than to shake the King of England in 
his purpose," taking with him a dispensation for 
Henry to marry his present wife, notwithstanding 
that she had been his brother's wife ! Mai mentioned 
also that Francis had warned the Papal nuncio in Paris 
that, if they pressed Henry too hard, he would marry, 
and his kingdom would renounce obedience to Rome. 

Through France most hope seemed to come. Early 
in August Lord Wiltshire returned to England with 
the welcome news that Paris (after a severe struggle) 
and the other French universities had pronounced 
in favour of Henry's contention. He had partly 
atoned for his failure at Bologna. In his steps 
came du Bellay, who had been on a visit to France. 
Received by the Council, the Bishop of Bayonne 
gave as his opinion that the King should marry Anne, 

The Boleyns' Triumph 


expressing his belief that the Pope would then ratify 
the union. The Council debated the point, but only 
Norfolk and Wiltshire voted in favour of du Bellay's 
suggestion, Suffolk being the loudest in opposition.* 

It is strange to find Gregory Casale writing to Henry 
on September 18th that a few days before the Pope 
had proposed to him the following condition, " that 
Your Majesty might be allowed two wives ! " Casale 
may have misunderstood the exact nature of the 
Pope's proposal, though his version of it agrees with 
Mai's report to the Emperor. Anyhow, nine days 
later, Clement replied to the petition of the English 
lords with a letter of dignified rebuke. After the 
revocation of the cause to Rome, he said, no proctor 
had as yet appeared on the King's behalf, and there- 
fore any delay could not be ascribed to himself. 
Besides which, the King's ambassadors at Bologna 
had solicited delay. 

The signs were fast accumulating that Henry was 
nearly " at the end of his tether, and that a break 
must come. By a royal proclamation a reminder 
'was given to all that English law did not allow direct 
Papal jurisdiction in this country ; and Clement's 
new nuncio, de Burgo, got small satisfaction from 
either Councillors or the King himself when he sought 
an explanation. On the contrary, he heard threats 
of what was likely to happen if the Pope remained 
obdurate in the matter of the divorce. De Burgo 
might, indeed, have sized up the situation without 
such threats. Rumours were flying about that the 
King intended to achieve his end through Parliament. 

* Du Bellay's letter of August 17th, 1530, in Vienna archives. 
(Friedmann, Vol. I., page 120.) 


114 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

However, Henry decided first to make another appeal 
to the Pope, writing to him direct on December 6th. 
In his letter, which was very strongly worded and 
complained bitterly of the actions of both Papal and 
Imperial agents, he demanded once more that the 
Pope should allow the cause to be decided in England 
by judges named by his ambassadors as indifferent. 

Henry wrote this letter from Hampton Court. 
The former lord of Hampton Court, the man whose 
career had been ruined through his failure to obtain 
the divorce for his master, had died but a few days 
beforehand ; too soon to allow the malice of his foes 
to inflict the last degradation on him of imprisonment 
in the Tower and what might follow thereon. Henry 
unconsciously hastened his end, if we may accept 
the story sent by Chapuys to the Emperor on November 

" A gentleman told me," says Chapuys, " that the 
King was complaining to his Council of something 
that was not done according to his liking, and said 
in a rage that the Cardinal was a better man than any 
of them for managing matters ; and, repeating this 
twice, he left them. The Duke [of Norfolk], the 
Lady and the father have not ceased since then to 
plot against the Cardinal ; especially the Lady, who 
does not cease to weep and regret her lost time and 
her honour, threatening the King that she will leave 
him — in such sort that the King has had much trouble 
to appease her ; and though he prayed her most 
affectionately, even with tears in his eyes, nothing 
would satisfy her except the arrest of the Cardinal." 

This, we must remember, is gossip, repeated by one 
who had every motive to represent Anne's character 

From the painting by an unknown artist in the National Portrait Gallery. 

Thomas, Cardinal Wolsey. 

[To lace p. 114- 

The Boleyns* Triumph 


as unfavourably as possible in the eyes of the recipient 
of his letter. All we know is that by order of the 
Council, of which Norfolk was the head, the already 
almost dying man was arrested at Cawood and brought 
on his way South to stand his trial on a number of 
counts, one of which is said to have been the false 
statement by his traitorous physician, Agostino, that 
he had secretly urged the Pope to excommunicate 
Henry if he did not put away Anne Boleyn. But 
the Cardinal was not destined to afford the final 
gratification to his enemies — amongst whom the 
party of the Boleyns formed but a small section. 
By " laying his bones " among the monks of Leicester 
Abbey he passed beyond the reach of hatred on 
November 29th. 

Much hated as he was, and in many ways no doubt 
hateful, in the pages of the honest Cavendish Wolsey 
certainly stands out as not entirely unlovable — the 
strangest and most gorgeous character of his day. 

Some at least of those who had succeeded in bring- 
ing about this tragedy of a great man's end did not 
hesitate to exhibit an indecent joy over it. Not 
long after Wolsey' s death the Earl of Wiltshire gave 
a supper to the new French ambassador in England f 
the Sieur de la Guiche. For the entertainment of 
the guests there was played " a farce of the Cardinal's 
going to Hell." We are not told who was the author 
of this merry production ; but the Duke of Norfolk 
was so pleased with it that he commanded it to be 
printed. La Guiche had sufficient right feeling to 
disapprove of it, and, speaking to Chapuys, blamed 
the Earl and still more the Duke.* 

* Chapuys to the Emperor, January 23rd, 153 1. 




WRITING to the Emperor on January ist, 
1531, Eustache Chapuys gives an account 
of the state of affairs with regard to Henry and Anne 
Boleyn : "I have just heard from a well-informed 
man that this marriage will undoubtedly be accom- 
plished in this Parliament, and that they expect easily 
to pacify Your Majesty. I cannot tell upon what they 
rest this expectation, as I have always told them dis- 
tinctly the opposite, and shall still do so before the 
game is concluded. The Lady," Chapuys goes on, 
" feels assured of it. She is braver than a lion. She 
said to one of the Queen's ladies that she wished all 
Spaniards in the world were in the sea ; and on the 
other replying that, for the honour of the Queen, she 
should not say so, she said she did not care anything 
for the Queen and would rather see her hanged than 
acknowledge her as her mistress." 

Chapuys under-rated the placability of Charles, 
as was to appear ; but at the moment Henry's position 
facing both Emperor and Pope looked difficult enough. 
Clement, with the Imperial troops on his doorstep, 
put forth another brief to be affixed to the gates of 
churches, especially in the Low Countries, since he 
could no longer constrain the English clergy to ex- 
hibit it in defiance of the royal proclamation. In 


The Break with Rome 


this, reminding Henry that he had refused to receive 
the citation to appear in Rome for the hearing of his 
cause, he forbade him to remarry until that cause 
should be decided, and warned him that if he did so 
any issue of the marriage would be illegitimate. 

Yet, to show the strangeness of the situation, we 
may note that Henry still kept up a certain amount 
of formal decorum with his wife. At this very time 
they were both at Greenwich, and Chapuys records a 
visit to them there after dinner on Sunday, January 8th. 
Henry had dined with Katharine. He received the 
ambassador in a friendly manner, and permitted him 
afterwards to go and converse with the Queen alone. 
No mention is made of the presence of " the Lady '' 
on this occasion. It is possible that she was at York 
Place, contemplating the day when she should be 
Queen there, or devising how she should spend the 
handsome New Year's gift which Henry had just 
made her of £100 — a considerably larger sum then 
than it is nowadays. After all, she was but twenty- 
four, good-looking, and noted for dressing well; 
Sanders, we have seen, allows her that, when he allows 
her little else that is not evil. 

The meeting of Parliament on January 16th was 
looked forward to as likely to be marked by events of 
importance. Already before the opening of the 
session the Attorney-General had, by the King's 
direction, begun proceedings against the Bishops for 
having acknowledged the Legatine power of Wolsey 
in the matter of the divorce the previous year — 
a power which Henry himself had been the first to 
recognize ! — and thereby rendering themselves and 
the clergy who followed them liable under the statute 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

of praemunire. The Convocation of Canterbury, in 
alarm, made an offer to the King of a " free gift " 
of £100,000 if proceedings against them were dropped. 
Henry replied with a stroke which he had in waiting 
for the occasion. Let them acknowledge him supreme 
head of the Church of England, he said, and he would 
accept the gift and grant them pardon. 

This message was sent to Convocation through 
Cromwell, who at the beginning of the year had 
been elevated to the Privy Council and who seems to 
have taken charge of the Council's legal work. Aged 
now about forty-six, Cromwell had had a varied career. 
After some rather obscure experience of soldiering 
in foreign service, he had returned to England to 
engage first in trade and then in study of the law. 
Wolsey had taken him up on his appointment to the 
archbishopric of York and had made him his collector 
of revenues, subsequently employing him in the work 
of suppressing some of the lesser monasteries so as to 
divert their resources to his proposed colleges at 
Oxford and Ipswich — a training in spoliation which 
Cromwell turned to good account later. Becoming 
Wolsey's secretary, he left him, as we have seen, on 
his fall in 1529 ; though it must be allowed that he 
did not desert his cause, combining his defence with a 
vigorous prosecution of his own interests. In the 
Parliament of 1530 (which was not his first experience 
of Parliament, as he appears to have been a member 
as early as 1523), he made his mark, and, by judiciously 
attaching himself to the Boleyn interests as the formerly 
united party began to fall asunder when the pressure 
of opposition to Wolsey ceased to hold them together, 
he worked his way steadily upwards. 

The Break with Rome 119 

Cromwell is credited with the inspiration of Henry's 
policy toward the Church in January, 1531. Accord- 
ing to Cardinal Pole, Henry, after Wolsey's failure 
to procure him a divorce, was heard to declare with a 
sigh that he could prosecute that scheme no longer. 
Those about him rejoiced ; but he had scarcely been 
two days in that mind when " a messenger of Satan " 
— Cromwell, to wit — addressed him, and, blaming 
the timidity of the King's councillors, propounded his 
own scheme. This was that Henry should get himself 
acknowledged as head of the Church in his own realm. 

Whether or not this is the true origin of the idea, 
Henry embraced it with fervour. Apparently it did 
not hurt his conscience ; and it certainly appealed 
to his vanity. We must not suppose that he was 
actuated by any notion of reforming the Church. 
He was denouncing at this time Tyndale's " un- 
charitable, venomous and pestilent books " (the 
dissemination of which was carried on through 
Flemish agency), and intimating to Cromwell that 
he would not have the man in England.* He con- 
sidered himself a good son of the Church ; but the 
Pope, in his view, was treating him unfairly and was 
a mere tool in his enemies' hands. He had found a 
remedy for this. 

To his great annoyance, the Convocation of Can- 
terbury jibbed at his proposal and withdrew their 
offer of a free gift. Chapuys wrote joyfully to the 
Emperor on January 31st that he believed that the 
King was intending to put the Lady away. He even 
heard that he was putting in order for her a house 

* Cromwell to Stephen Vaughan, May ? 1531. ("Letters and 
Papers, Henry VIII.,' 1 Vol. V., page 113.) 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

which he gave her some time ago. Probably he 
meant to recall her soon ; but Chapuys fancied that 
if once she were sent away " God and the Queen 
would guard against her return." 

Henry was not so easily beaten. The weapon of 
the statute of praemunire was a powerful one ; and, 
threatened with the penalty for treason, Convocation 
gave way. They acknowledged him as supreme head 
of the Church of England, adding the qualification 
" in so far as the law of Christ allows." York followed 
Canterbury, and Henry hastened to procure confirma- 
tion from Parliament. Here again opposition met 
him. If the clergy were liable to praemunire, it was 
pointed out, so were the laity. The King did not 
haggle for long, but granted a pardon to the laity 
without exacting from them any such composition 
as the clergy had been compelled to pay. He appre- 
ciated that it was not safe, in his present situation, 
to try the temper of the people too far. 

The Queen's friends were taken aback by the measure 
of success which the King's policy had attained, and 
she herself felt bitter over it. In his letter of 
February 21st Chapuys says that Katharine is surprised 
that so little has been done in Rome. She had felt 
sure that the Pope would order the Lady to be dis- 
missed from Court ; but it appears that the second 
brief is feebler than the first. In consequence the 
English have recovered their breath, and the Lady 
remains more openly acknowledged than before. 
Chapuys continues, on his own account : "If the 
Pope had ordered the Lady to be separated from the 
King, he would never have pretended to sovereignty 
over the Church ; for, as far as I can understand, 

The Break with Rome 121 

she and her father have been the principal cause of it. 
The latter, speaking of the affair a few days ago to 
the Bishop of Rochester, ventured to say he could 
prove, by the authority of Scripture, that when God 
left this world he left no successor nor vicar." 

It is argued that the insertion of a qualifying clause 
into the Church's recognition of the King's supreme 
headship was a defeat of the Boleyns, and that in 
consequence the intention of presenting bills in Parlia- 
ment hostile to the Pope's authority was dropped. 
But if Anne and her father were pressing for extreme 
measures immediately, Henry was not prepared yet 
to go so far, and Cromwell was too subtle to attempt 
to force the pace when the opposition was daily growing 
in strength. Instead of putting any further strain on 
Parliament, at the end of the session, and on the day 
after the pardon to the laity had been granted, " when 
the memory of this exemption was fresh," as Chapuys 
tells the Emperor, the members were called together. 
To them the Chancellor " set forth by command 
that there were some who said that the King pursued 
this divorce out of love for some lady, and not out of 
any scruple of conscience j but this was not true, 
for he has only moved thereto in discharge of his 
conscience, which, through what he had read and 
discovered from doctors and universities, was in bad 
condition by his living with the Queen."* 

Sir Brian Tuke then proceeded to read, in a loud 
voice, the opinions which had been collected from the 
universities against the validity of the King's marriage 
with Katharine. When the Bishops of St. Asaph 
and Bath, supporters of the Queen, attempted to begin 

* Chapuys to the Emperor, April 2nd, 1531. 

122 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

a discussion, all argument was stopped ; and the 
Commons, having also heard the opinions, were dis- 
missed to their constituencies to report thereon. 

Chapuys reports to her nephew that Queen Kath- 
arine, at Greenwich, was " in great spirits at having 
escaped the determination of Parliament on the divorce, 
of which she was always afraid." She had little enough 
to rejoice over, apart from this. At the end of April 
the Imperial ambassador records a fresh humiliation 
tor her. The Princess Mary had been ill and asked 
the King's permission to visit Greenwich. This was 
refused, to gratify the Lady, Chapuys makes out, 
" who hates her as much as the Queen, or more so, 
chiefly because she sees the King has some affection 
for her." He continues : "Of late, when the King 
praised her in the Lady's presence, the latter was 
very angry and began to vituperate the Princess 
very strangely. She becomes more arrogant every 
day, using words and authority towards the King, 
of which he has several times complained to the Duke 
of Norfolk, saying she was not like the Queen, who 
never in her life used ill words to him." 

Had Henry then forgotten the previous Christmas 
Eve ? 

Anne's attitude towards the young Princess Mary 
must always remain one of the chief difficulties for her 
apologists. It was a great source of sorrow to herself 
in her last hours, so that we cannot doubt that she 
really exhibited towards her much of the spitefulness 
with which she is charged. To her the girl represented 
a more serious obstacle to the complete fulfilment of her 
ambitions than even Katharine. Of Henry's absolute 
determination to get rid of the mother there could be no 

The Break with Rome 


question. But what of the daughter, who, failing the 
birth of legitimate male offspring to him and a declara- 
tion of her own illegitimacy, would remain his heir ? 
Then, to embitter her, Anne had the constant cam- 
paign of calumny by the adherents of the Queen and 
Princess. A notable instance of this had occurred at the 
period of which we are writing, in the case of Richard 
Rice, or Rouse, cook to the Bishop of Rochester. 

The details of this case are known to us mainly 
from later historians. Henry Clifford, following San- 
ders, says that Anne suborned Rice to poison 
the Bishop, as being the stout defender of Queen 
Katharine, and that he put poison in the common 
pot. Dr. Fisher did not come to dinner that day, 
but most of his " family V that did were poisoned 
and died. Rice, confessing his crime, was publicly 
put to death. Burnet in his " History of the Reforma- 
tion " takes the pains to investigate this tale and finds 
that Richard Rouse did try to poison the Bishop on 
February 16th, 1531, putting something in the 
"porridge," whereby seventeen people of the house- 
hold and one poor woman out of those that received 
the remains of the meal in charity were killed. The 
cook suffered the horrible fate of being boiled to death 
for this. But there is nothing whatever to implicate 
Anne Boleyn in the affair. In fact, the only suggestion 
of the kind that we hear at the time of the occurrence 
is when Chapuys, writing to the Emperor on March 
1st, mentions the case and says : " The King has 
done very well to show dissatisfaction at this j never- 
theless, he cannot wholly avoid some suspicion, if not 
against himself, whom I think too good to do such a 
thing, at least against the Lady and her father." 

124 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

The legend of Anne the poisoner was to grow to 
larger dimensions later. That of her unchastity was 
already well established, thanks to the persistent 
efforts of open enemies and pretended friends. A 
genuine ground of complaint against her seems to have 
aroused comparatively little comment, when, at her 
instigation, the King started to make a great park in 
front of York Place, and knocking down a number of 
private houses, threw a gallery across the street to 
give access to the park. Chapuys says that the owners 
of the houses were not compensated, and adds : " All 
this is done to please the Lady, who likes better that 
the King should stay in the said house, as there is no 
lodging in it for the Queen." 

Anne could hardly be expected to regard with 
equanimity a meeting with Katharine, whose sup- 
porters were so busy traducing her. Among them was 
her uncle's wife, the Duchess of Norfolk, who at the 
end of 1530 had been scoffing at the noble pedigree 
with which the heralds had been furnishing the future 
Queen, and who now declared herself so freely in 
Katharine's favour that Anne procured her temporary 
banishment from Court. 

By the end of May, Henry was resolved to put a 
stop to the threats which were being made to begin 
proceedings in Rome. He had warned the Pope, 
through his agent Benet, that to summon him thither 
meant the plainest destruction of Papal authority in 
England. Nevertheless, on May 31st, the nuncio de 
Burgo asked an audience of him and delivered a 
counter-warning that the case could be no longer 
delayed. Furiously Henry swore that he would not 
submit, menacing the Pope with a march on Rome by 

The Break with Rome 


an Anglo-French army. On the following evening 
he made another attempt to influence Katharine. 
As she was retiring to bed at Greenwich, about eight 
or nine o'clock, a deputation waited on her of Norfolk, 
Suffolk, Northumberland, Wiltshire and other nobles, 
over thirty in all, accompanied by the Bishops of 
London and Lincoln, and Doctors Lee, Sampson 
and Gardiner. They had come to remonstrate with 
her, on the King's behalf, against the indignity of 
having him cited to Rome, and persuade her that the 
only proper course was an impartial tribunal, for which 
latterly he had been urging the Pope. Katharine 
turned a deaf ear to their pleadings and would hear 
of no tribunal but the Pope. Reproaches and threats 
availed nothing. " Some say," remarks Chapuys, 
" that they worked hard and counselled long, and 
devised fine plans, but were confounded by a single 

The deputation went back to the King, when 
Suffolk told him that, while the Queen was willing 
to obey him in all things, there were two that she 
must obey first. Which two ? asked Henry. God 
and her conscience, replied the Duke, which she would 
not destroy for him or anyone. Henry was silent. 

Whether it was out of compassion for the Queen or 
jealousy of the favourite, it was plain the opposition 
to the Boleyn marriage had greatly grown in volume 
at Court. Suffolk and his wife were now hostile. 
Sir Henry Guildford, Controller of the Household, 
declared himself on the same side, and when Anne 
threatened him with loss of his post as soon as she 
was Queen resigned it at once, and could not be per- 
suaded to resume his duties. Gardiner, still chief 


126 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

secretary to the King, but under promise of prefer- 
ment to the bishopric of Winchester, was suspected by 
Anne of lukewarmness, at least ; and there were other 
very doubtful quantities in the royal service at home 
and abroad. 

In disgust, Henry took refuge in his favourite 
hunting, in the company of Anne, of his Master of 
the Horse and two others. That Anne was not un- 
chaperoned by her mother, however, we learn from a 
letter written to Lord Wiltshire by his chaplain Cranmer 
on June 13th. " The King his Grace, my lady your 
wife, my lady Anne your daughter," he wrote, " be 
in good health, whereof thanks be to God. . . . The 
King and my lady Anne rode yesterday to Wyndsowere, 
and this night they be looked for again at Hampton 
Courte ; God be their guide ! " 

Cranmer, we have seen, had accompanied Lord 
Wiltshire on his mission to Bologna in the previous 
year. He had been taken into his household as 
chaplain on the recommendation of the King, who, 
according to the accepted story, had his attention 
drawn to him by his own almoner Foxe. Cranmer, 
Foxe and Gardiner had been college friends at Cam- 
bridge, and, meeting the other two at Waltham 
during the epidemic of the sweat, Cranmer had sug- 
gested to them that the King, instead of waiting for 
the slow process of Papal action to release him from 
his marriage, should take steps to prove its invalidity 
and then marry again. He proposed taking the opinion 
of the universities. When Foxe reported this, Henry 
sent for Cranmer and was well pleased with him, 
commissioning him to put forth his views on the 
marriage in the form of a treatise and getting him 

The Break with Rome 


his post with the Boleyn household at Durham Place 
— a momentous step in Cranmer's career, as it even- 
tually turned out. 

If the King chafed at the obstacles in his path 
and sought relaxation in the chase to help him to 
forget his vexations, it is plain Anne's spirit had in 
no way abated, either through the constant fresh 
delays in the fulfilment of the promise that she should 
be Queen or through the desertions of former allies. 
" The Lady only allows three or four months for the 
nuptials," wrote Chapuys on July 17th, deriving his 
information perhaps from Norfolk. " She is preparing 
her royal state by degrees, and has just taken an 
almoner and other officers. She goes along with the 
King to the chase ; and the Queen, who always used 
to follow, has been commanded by the King to stay 
at Windsor." 

A week later a definite rupture occurred between 
Henry and Katharine, in the twenty-third year of 
their married life ; and we have no account of their 
actually meeting again. Henry had left Windsor to 
continue his hunting further afield, taking Ajme in 
his suite. Katharine sent a message, inquiring after 
his health and expressing her regret that she had been 
unable to speak with him on his departure. Henry 
sent the messenger back with an angry reply, intimating 
that he wanted no good-byes or inquiries after his 
health, and reviling her for the trouble which she 
had caused him. She wrote again, lamenting his 
ill-will, in a letter of considerable length, which 
seems to have rendered the King speechless for three 
days, as it was not until after that interval that he 
answered. Then his letter, which Chapuys of course 

128 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

suggests was dictated by Anne Boleyn, was a crude 
and violent production, complaining of her obstinate 
maintenance of the non-consummation of her marriage 
with his brother Arthur and her preaching of this to 
all the world. She would have done more wisely, 
he said, to spend her time in seeking witnesses to her 
pretended virginity than in talking as she had ; and 
instead of writing to him she had better attend to her 
own affairs.* 

The letter, in fact, was pure Henry VIII., almost in 
his lowest terms. We need not attribute it to the 
Lady's inspiration. It had no address, Chapuys 
says, " probably because they meant to change 
her name, and had not yet determined what title to 
give her." 

The same chronicler, writing on August 19th, states 
that the King, under pretence of hunting about 
Windsor, has ordered the Queen to dislodge and retire 
to More, and the Princess to Richmond. The More, 
or Moor Park, Hertfordshire, was a house formerly 
belonging to Wolsey in his capacity of Abbot of St. 
Albans, and was described by Katharine as " one of 
the worst in England." She vainly petitioned Henry 
to allow her to remove elsewhither ; and at the More 
she had to stay, bitterly complaining that she would 
have preferred to be put in the Tower of London. 
It was an additional touch of cruelty that she was now 
entirely cut off from the Princess Mary. 

Nevertheless, when in October a fresh deputation 
waited on her from the King, Katharine maintained 
her unyielding attitude. The envoys, consisting of 
Dr. Lee, now Archbishop elect of York, Dr. Sampson, 

* Chapuys to the Emperor, July 31st, 1531. 

The Break with Rome 


dean of the chapel royal, the Duke of Suffolk and 
Sir William Fitzwilliam, represented to her how much 
better it would be to get rid by amicable means of the 
difference with the King and to agree to leave the 
question of the validity of her marriage to the bishops 
of the realm. They even went down on their knees 
to her. She went down on her knees in her turn, 
but gave way not an inch. 

Henry's reply was to cut off further dealings with 
her, and to devote himself to the completion of his 
plans to carry through in England his liberation from 
his first marriage. He was assured of the support 
of France, and under Anne's influence was prepared 
to defy the Emperor. Anne was certainly confident. 
Meeting one day the French ambassador, John 
Joachim, Sieur de Vaux, who prophesied that she 
would now soon be Queen and that Charles would 
offer no opposition, she scornfully answered that she 
did not want this or any other benefit by the Emperor's 

" Braver than a lion," as Chapuys had formerly 
described her, the Lady did not flinch before the proofs 
of her personal unpopularity, not only at Court, outside 
the small section of her own adherents, but among the 
populace. Burnet says that the Queen's cause was 
mostly approved by the women, the King's by the 
men. There is not much sign of the men's support 
of the King. Of the women's sympathy with the 
Queen there is no doubt. An odd affair is mentioned 
in a letter preserved in the Venetian section of the 
State papers of Henry VIII.* Writing to the French 

* " Venetian Calendar,' 1 Vol. IV., page 701. Letter of November 
24th, 1 53 1. 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

ambassador in Rome, a correspondent tells him that 
(apparently in September) a mob of seven to eight 
thousand of the women of London, with a number of 
men disguised in their midst, had gone out to seize 
" Boleyn's daughter, the King's sweetheart," as she 
was supping at a villa on the river, the King not 
being with her, and that she only escaped by crossing 
the river in a boat. They had intended to kill her, 
says the writer. We do not hear of the incident 
elsewhere ; but there seems no reason to reject it. 

The campaign of calumny was steadily kept up 
against Anne, both at home and abroad. Another 
letter in the " Venetian Calendar "* tells how the 
King has living with him " a young woman of noble 
birth, though of bad character, whose will is law 
unto him." In Rome her enemies spared her nothing. 
Twice in December, 1531, Dr. Ortiz, one of the Im- 
perial agents, wrote to inform Charles that the King's 
11 wench " (manceba) had miscarried. Nor was the 
gossip confined to those who objected to Anne on 
religious grounds, it must be admitted. A choice 
piece of scandal-mongering was communicated in 
September by Simon Grynee, the Reformer, to his 
friend Martin Bucer.-j- Grynee had come to England 
earlier in the year, led chiefly by a desire to visit the 
libraries of the country, as Erasmus wrote in a letter 
introducing him to Lord Mountjoy. He did not confine 
himself to literary research. Speaking of Anne, he 
says to Bucer : " Whether she has any children by 
the King I do not know. She has not any acknow- 
ledged as such ; they may probably be brought up 

* " Venetian Calendar," Vol. IV., page 682. 
t " Original Letters " (Parker Society), No. 256. 

The Break with Rome 


in private (which, if I am not mistaken, I have heard 
more than once), though there are those who positively 
deny that the King has any intercourse with her, 
which, in my opinion, is not likely. But she is young, 
good-looking, of a rather dark complexion, and 
likely enough to have children." 

Grynee, a foreigner in England, was evidently 
puzzled by the relationship between Henry and his 
favourite, which is by no means surprising. He could 
not be expected to understand the peculiar workings 
of Henry's conscience, or to appreciate the strength 
of Anne's determination to have u all or none," how- 
ever long it might take her to secure the all on which 
she was bent. 




ON Christmas Eve, 1531, Anne gave a feast, to 
which were invited both the Sieur de Vaux 
and the new French ambassador, Giles de la Pom- 
meraye, who had come over to succeed him, with 
special instructions to help Henry in the matter of 
his divorce — provided that he were ready to pay the 
price asked by Francis for his continued support. 
Chapuys saw Pommeraye after the feast and got from 
him the information that it was impossible to conceive 
how much the English King had the divorce at heart, 
and that his own master would refuse Henry nothing. 
Francis was wise enough to realize that, as Chapuys 
wrote later, he had lost nothing by the death of 
Wolsey, the Lady having more credit than the Cardinal 
had had, while there was no necessity to pay her 
25,000 crowns — his subsidy to Wolsey — but only 
flattery and promises of soliciting the divorce. Now, 
through the agency of Pommeraye, a fresh treaty of 
alliance was negotiated, by which each King bound 
himself to aid the other in the event of attack by the 
Emperor. The advantage of this was certainly on 
the side of Francis, whose dominions were more 
vulnerable to such an attack than Henry's. 

The treaty was signed by the French ambassador, 
Edward Foxe and Lord Wiltshire in April ; but 


Fighting Home Opposition 


already early in January Francis had started to carry 
out part of the bargain. On the 8th Cardinal Gram- 
mont wrote to the Pope, begging him not to delay 
remitting Henry's cause to England until evil con- 
sequences had arisen ; and Francis followed this up 
two days later with a letter on behalf of his " good 
brother." The Papal correspondence of this month 
is interesting, for on the 4th we find Clement writing 
a personal letter to Henry, asking his aid against 
the Turks in case they invaded Italy. On that same 
day Henry had written to Ghinucci and Casale, his 
agents in Rome, to use every effort to induce the Pope 
to adjourn his case still further. His other agent, 
Benet, was at the moment in England. A curious 
sidelight on his attitude towards his master's business 
is furnished by Chapuys. Benet secretly commu- 
nicated with the Queen, begging her pardon for acting 
against her. In good will, he told her, she had no 
better servant than himself, and he informed her that 
now or never was the right season to put pressure 
on the Emperor, seeing the cowardice of the Pope, 
for her affairs were never in better condition !* 

Benet did not openly throw off the mask of partisan 
of the King. More honest than he, Reginald Pole, 
whose mother, the Countess of Salisbury, was 
governess to the Princess Mary, came to Henry and 
told him that if he remained in England he must 
attend Parliament, and, should the divorce be discussed, 
he must speak according to his conscience. Pole was 
a Plantagenet and a kinsman of the King. He had 
previously acted in Henry's interests in the matter 
of procuring opinions from the French universities. 

* Chapuys to the Emperor, January 4th, 1 532. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

But now he had repented. Under the threat of his 
opposition in Parliament, Henry gave him permission, 
which he had hitherto refused, to go abroad to continue 
his studies. This was a lucky escape for the future 
Cardinal, since it put him out of the reach of the fate 
which later overtook his family, including even the 
old Countess, whose murder in 1541 was one of the 
most monstrous of Henry's crimes. 

In the same letter in which he tells of Benet's 
double-dealing, Chapuys complains of the unkind 
treatment to which the Queen had been subjected at 
New Year. Though she has been forbidden to write 
or send messages to the King, he says, she sent him a 
gold cup as a present, with honourable and humble 
words ; but, though he looked at it and praised its 
fashion, Henry sent it back in the evening. He made 
no New Year's gift to Katharine, and forbade others 
to do so. " He has not been so discourteous to the 
Lady, who has presented him with certain darts, of 
Biscay an fashion, richly ornamented. In return he 
gave her a room hung with cloth of gold and silver and 
crimson satin, with rich embroideries." 

It is true that in the list of the King's New Year 
gifts a blank stands opposite the name of the Queen. 
Anne's family are well represented in the list. Pre- 
sents of silver plate are recorded to Lady Wiltshire, 
Lady Rochford (George Boleyn's wife), Lady Mary 
Rochford — i.e., the former Mary Boleyn, who also 
gets " a shirt with a black collar " — and Lady Shelton, 
a sister of Lord Wiltshire, who was now among the 
Court ladies. The " Lady Anne " herself figures in 
the list, but the present mentioned by Chapuys does 
not appear. 

Fighting Home Opposition 


As far as royal state was concerned, Anne had 
practically all the privileges of the Queen ; and she 
was attended by almost as many ladies as Katharine, 
we are told. But still it appeared impossible to make 
any progress with the divorce and marriage. Henry 
sent Benet back to Rome, and dispatched also Dr. 
Edmund Bonner to assist him. He was further repre- 
sented there by Sir Edward Carne, his excusator, 
whose duty it was to plead that the King should not 
be compelled, either in person or by proxy, to appear 
before the Pope. His newest proposal to Clement 
was that the cause should be tried by three English 
prelates, one nominated by himself, one by Katharine, 
and one by His Holiness. In France he had Gardiner 
looking after his interests, and at the beginning of 
1532 he enlisted the services of Cranmer, who had now 
finished his book in favour of the divorce, as his 
ambassador to the Emperor. 

On their side, the Imperial representatives were 
busy pressing the Pope. Ortiz was in high hopes of 
extracting from him a new brief, excommunicating 
Henry "if he does not cast off his concubine Ana in 
fifteen days and return to the Queen " — the brief to 
be posted up in Brussels and Utrecht.* But Ortiz 
was disappointed. The Pope's brief, dated January 
25th, was merely an admonishment to Henry on 
the scandal he was creating, ending with a mild hope 
that he would take Katharine back and put away 
Anne, which did not trouble the King at all. 

In England Henry was continuing his campaign 
against the authority of the Pope ; but he found it 

* Ortiz to the Emperor, January 25th, 1532. (" Letters and Papers, 
Henry VIII.," Vol. V.) 

136 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

very uphill work. Parliament met on January 15th, 
and the rumours were many as to what was going to 
be done. According to Hall's "Chronicle," it was in 
this Parliament that a definite motion was brought 
forward by one of the members to petition Henry 
to take the Queen back, because of the serious danger 
to the succession if the Princess Mary were to be 
declared illegitimate ; but we do not know the date 
of this motion. The King's advisers proceeded 
cautiously. They consulted the bishops with regard 
to action hostile to Rome, but got no encouragement 
from most of them. Then Norfolk and Wiltshire 
approached Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury 
(" whom they consider as Pope of England," says 
Chapuys), with a view to an ecclesiastical court to 
try the case, in defiance of the Pope. Warham 
refused ; " and it seems that, as they despair of 
gaining their end by an ecclesiastical way, they will 
take some other road." 

Norfolk was entrusted with the next step. Calling 
together some of the peers and members of the 
Commons, he put it before them that matrimonial 
cases should be judged by lay, not ecclesiastical, 
tribunals. Lord Darcy opposed this, and the other 
lords sided with him. Chapuys says that Lord 
Wiltshire (whether on this or some other occasion) 
maintained, upon his body and goods, that no Pope 
nor prelate had power to exercise jurisdiction or make 
any law — at which, the ambassador adds, " no sur- 
prise need be felt, for he and his daughter are considered 
true apostles of the new sect." But Norfolk and 
Wiltshire could not carry Parliament with them. 

Henry was furious with them over their failure, 

Fighting Home Opposition 


and seems to have been inclined to take the French 
advice to marry Anne at once, assuming as proved 
the invalidity of his first marriage. Wiltshire was 
aghast at this, realizing that it would mean uproar 
in the country, and incidentally his own ruin. Anne 
quarrelled with her father, and also with her uncle 
Norfolk, suspecting them both of opposing her 
secretly. A curious result of her quarrel with the 
latter was that she insisted on his marrying his son, 
the young Earl of Surrey, to Frances Vere, daughter 
of the Earl of Oxford, a match which she had pre- 
viously opposed. Now she appeared to fear that 
Norfolk was aiming to secure the hand of the Princess 
Mary for his son, with designs upon the throne. So, 
though Surrey was only fourteen or fifteen and the 
lady was also a minor, she practically forced the 
Duke to get them married in April. 

The estrangement between Norfolk and his niece 
was fairly complete now ; and it is plain that he 
began, in consequence, to grow more friendly with 
the Imperial ambassador. When Chapuys spoke to 
him about a priest who had recently ventured to call 
the Pope a heretic, the Duke frankly said that it was 
no surprise, for this priest was more Lutheran than 
Martin himself, and that he himself would have 
burnt him if it had not been for the Earl of Wiltshire 
" and another person." He also made out that he 
was neither the promoter nor the favourer of this 
marriage, which he had always dissuaded. But for 
him and the Earl of Wiltshire, he said, it would have 
taken place a year ago.* On this point, though not 

* Chapuys to the Emperor, May 29th, 1532. Quoted by Fried- 
mann, Vol. I., page 157 n., from the Vienna archives. 

138 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

in religious matters, he and the Earl were at one, 
according to his account. 

The religious aspect of the question was growing 
very prominent, as can be seen clearly from the 
Chapuys letters. In March the King had caused a 
priest to be arrested for preaching against the divorce 
in " the Great Church ; " and it was reported that 
he had ordered preachers to support his cause. " One 
tried to begin it in the bishopric of Cardinal Campeggio 
[Salisbury], but the women and others would have 
treated him very ill, had it not been for the authority 
of justice." A still more notable case was that at 
Greenwich, of which we have Stow's account as well 
as that of Chapuys. 

The Order variously called the Friars Minors, 
Minorites or, most commonly, Observant Friars, 
a reformed Franciscan body, had a convent at 
Greenwich, on land given to them by Henry VII. 
Henry VIII. and Katharine both showed great favour 
to the Observants ; but when the dispute came 
between the King and Queen the Friars mostly 
espoused the Queen's side with considerable fervour. 
On Easter Sunday, 1532, the Provincial of the Order, 
William Peto, preached with great boldness before 
Henry in the convent on the story of Ahab and Naboth. 
" Even where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth," 
he said, ** even there shall the dogs lick thy blood, 
O King ! " And, after speaking of the lying prophets, 
he went on : "I am that Micheas whom thou wilt hate, 
because I must tell thee that this marriage is unlawful ; 
and I know I shall eat the bread of affliction and drink 
the water of sorrow, yet because Our Lord hath put 
it into my mouth I must speak of it." 

Fighting Home Opposition 


It is not surprising that Henry was annoyed at 
the sermon and remonstrated with Peto, who only 
told him, however, that he was endangering his 
crown, for both great and small were murmuring at 
the proposed marriage. The next Sunday, Henry 
sent one of his own chaplains, Dr. Richard Cur wen, 
to preach in the convent and contradict Peto's remarks. 
This Curwen did, denouncing Peto as M dog, slanderer, 
base beggarly friar, close man, rebel, and traitor," 
and saying that he wished he were there to answer 
him. Thereon Henry Elston, the warden of the 
convent, stood up in the rood-loft and answered him 
on behalf of Peto (who was away), accusing him of 
seeking by adultery to establish the succession, betray- 
ing the King to endless perdition, and so on. No one 
could stop his heated tirade until the King himself 
ordered him to hold his peace. 

The sequel to this strange scene was the arrest 
of Peto, on his return from a provincial council at 
Canterbury, and of Elston, and an application by 
Henry to Rome for a commission to have them tried 
by the head of the Augustinian Order in England ! 
The Observants, not only at Greenwich but at their 
other branches, were seething with discontent against 
the King, and such of them as took his side were 
heartily abused. One of them, Friar John Laurence, 
writes to Cromwell shortly after that, having preached 
at Kingston a few words persuading the people to 
reverence their prince, " as soon as I entered the 
convent divers set upon me with open mouth, saying 
I had preached the King's matter and that all our 
religion should be slandered thereby." In August 
Laurence wrote again secretly that he had been 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

forbidden by the Order, under pain of imprisonment, to 
communicate with either Cromwell or the King. In the 
end Henry suppressed the Greenwich convent, though 
this not until two years later. As for Peto and Elston, 
we find them in Antwerp in the summer of 1533, so 
that they must have been released to go abroad. 

Henry's irritation with rebellious preachers did 
not incline him to take even mild reproaches from 
the Pope in a humble spirit. When the nuncio 
appeared before him with Clement's latest brief in 
May, though that could not in any way be considered 
a threatening document, he expressed astonishment 
that His Holiness should persist in this fancy of wish- 
ing him to recall the Queen. If the Pope's contention 
was that Katharine was his wife, then what business 
was it of his to meddle with his punishment of her 
for her daily rude behaviour to him ? 

The said rude behaviour — Katharine's continued 
refusal to yield — was only exhibited at a distance ; 
and after Easter Henry had removed her still further 
from him, by sending her to Easthamsted, where she 
was lodged in a house of the unfriendly Bishop of 
Lincoln, and where she found the accommodation bad. 

In spite of the ill-success which had met the attempts 
to use Warham and the general body of the bishops 
to carry out his wishes, Henry by menaces cowed the 
clergy into making a submission to him, promising 
to make no new canons or constitutions without 
his consent and to revise the already existing canons.* 

* After putting this proposition before the Convocation of Canter- 
bury, Henry had sent for the Speaker and twelve members of the 
Commons on May nth, and told them that he had discovered that the 
clergy were not loyal subjects, since they took two oaths of obedience, 
one to the Pope and one to himself. His object was to fasten on Par- 
liament a quarrel with the clergy. 

Fighting Home Opposition 


This step they agreed to on May 16th. It was 
ominous of the disapproval aroused that, on that 
same day, Sir Thomas More resigned the Chancellor- 
ship ; and Chapuys records that Gardiner, Bishop 
of Winchester, absented himself from Court until 
the King was obliged to recall him in connection with 
a dispatch to Rome. 

More's position was filled by the appointment of 
Thomas Audley, a friend of Cromwell, who had 
been Speaker. He was knighted and made Keeper 
of the Great Seal, with all the Chancellor's functions 
and eventually the title also. With him in More's 
place there was no fear of opposition to the King's 
schemes. As for Cromwell himself, now Master of 
the Jewels, his influence in Henry's counsels was 
far greater than his mere official position indicated. 
It is difficult to apportion clearly the shares of Anne 
Boleyn and of Cromwell in driving Henry forward 
on the road that led from Rome. Cromwell revealed 
his hand less openly than Anne, who talked after 
the fashion of a woman of her years. On July nth 
Chapuys gives the Emperor a sad account of a young 
priest, of honest and virtuous life, who has been 
hanged for " clipping angels." The King, who had 
lately pardoned a French innkeeper for a similar 
offence against the coinage, would listen to no inter- 
cession on the priest's behalf, " either from hatred 
of theology or from love of the Lady, who told her 
father he did wrong to speak for a priest, as there 
were too many of them already." 

In the same month the Imperial ambassador refers 
to the quarrel between the Earl and Countess of 
Northumberland, and alleges that Northumberland 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

told her that he was not her lawful husband, as he 
had been precontracted to Anne Boleyn. Thereon 
she wrote and told her father. Lord Shrewsbury 
showed the letter to Norfolk, who took it to his 
niece. Anne in turn took it to Henry and demanded 
that he should question Northumberland about it, 
with the result that Northumberland solemnly denied 
the precontract, first before the Council and then 
before the Archbishop of Canterbury.* Such is the 
story, as to which it depends on our estimate of 
Henry Percy's character whether we believe that 
he really told his wife that there had been a pre- 
contract. That Lady Northumberland said so, we 
need not doubt, nor that Anne's enemies would 
gladly have used her word to ruin the favourite. 

There was no sign of any abatement yet of the 
King's passion for " this Ana with whom the enemy 
has entangled him," as Ortiz describes her. He 
started with her from Windsor early in July for 
his customary hunting tour in the Midlands. But 
he had conceived a far more ambitious plan for show- 
ing his determination to have her as his queen. He 
would take her with him to Calais and Boulogne, 
and there meet the French King, to talk over the 
steps necessary to bring about the marriage. The 
greatest pleasure that Francis could do to Henry, 
wrote du Bellay (now again in England) to Mont- 
morency on July 2 ist, was to send an invitation, 
through himself, for Henry to bring Madame Anne 

* Chapuys to the Emperor, July 22nd, 1532. Quoted by Fried- 
mann, Vol. I., page 159, from the Vienna archives. As a matter of 
fact, the denial, on oath, before both Archbishops, seems to have come 
first. See Northumberland's letter to Cromwell, May 13th, 1536. 
(" Letters and Papers, Henry VOL,* Vol. VIII.) 

From an engraving by X. H. Jacob. 

Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre. 

[To face p. 142. 

Fighting Home Opposition 


to Calais. The difficulty was as to who should receive 
her. Francis had, in 1530, taken as his second wife 
Eleanor, sister of the Emperor Charles ; and to 
Henry to see the Spanish dress was " like seeing a 
devil " — apart from the fact, about which du Bellay 
is discreetly silent, that Eleanor would scarcely be 
willing to receive her aunt's intended successor. Could 
not Francis bring the Queen of Navarre (Anne's 
former patroness Marguerite, Duchess of Alencon) 
to act as hostess ? 

In his letter du Bellay mentions the great court 
paid to him by the English King, who takes him with 
him to the chase, sometimes placing him and Madame 
Anne together with "their crossbows, to shoot at the 
deer as they pass. Also he shows him coursing, and 
Madame Anne has given him a hunting dress, with 
hat and horn and greyhound. Du Bellay is evidently 
gratified at such marks of esteem. 

The other ambassador, Chapuys, who was not 
similarly honoured, writes to the Emperor that Henry 
had intended to continue his progress northwards ; 
but, though great preparations had been made, he 
turned back. " Some say the cause is that in two 
or three places that he passed through the people 
urged him to take back the Queen, and the women 
insulted the Lady." It is at this time that we read 
of a great riot and unlawful assembly of women at 
Yarmouth, which it is thought could not have been 
held without the connivance of their husbands ; and 
there can be little doubt that this disturbance was 
occasioned by the indignation of the women over the 
rumours of the King's speedy second marriage. 

Henry had, in fact, at last decided that he could 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

wait no longer on the Pope, and his only anxiety 
was how to prevent a sentence of excommunication 
if he proceeded at once to the new marriage. He 
must have been well aware of the bullying to which 
Clement was being submitted by the Imperial repre- 
sentatives in Rome, to force him to the direct threat, 
with a definite time-limit within which Anne must be 
put away. Ortiz took the lead in this, and writes to 
the Emperor on August 21st of an interview which 
he had just had with the Pope. His Holiness had 
urged that, though he judged that the King was living 
in mortal sin, others might say it was the custom in 
England for princes to converse with ladies, and he 
could not prove that there was anything worse than 
that in this case. It was a bad custom, replied 
Ortiz, to allow fire and tow to be together ! "I shall 
have to speak to the Pope several times," he says, 
" for he does not see how he is offending Our Lord 
by his delay." 

Clement, however, was not yet to be moved from 
his attitude of delay, and, instead of issuing the 
desired brief, prorogued the King's cause until 

In England, the chief talk was of the coming 
journey to Calais. " The King seems never to have 
desired anything so much," says Chapuys, " for he 
does not care to speak of anything else. No one else 
wishes it except the Lady, and the people talk of it 
in a strange fashion. The Council, and especially the 
Duke of Suffolk, have spoken so plainly that the King 
insulted him several times." 

Suffolk, in common with everyone else, including 
Queen Katharine, felt that the journey to Calais meant 

Fighting Home Opposition 


nothing less than the irrevocable confirmation of 
Henry's promise of marriage to Anne. If she went 
to France in the position of Queen, whether or not the 
marriage took place instantly, she would come back 
to be Queen. Therefore her enemies fought with all 
the strength they dared use to delay the journey. 

Fate, however, fought on Henry's and Anne's side 
against them. On August 23rd died Warham, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, who since his action in May, 1527, 
in the King's interests, had gradually developed into 
a firm supporter of Katharine, and who had absolutely 
refused to lend himself to the scheme to defy the Pope. 
The see of Canterbury was thus vacant ; and with 
an archbishop of more pliable character Henry might 
hope for success. The joint preparations for the 
journey and the wedding went forward. The first 
official step towards both was taken a week after 
Warham's death. 




THE step which marked the approaching end 
of Henry's strange courtship was taken on 
September ist, 1532. Two patents had been drawn 
up, one creating Anne Marchioness of Pembroke — 
" the lady marquess 99 was the style by which she was 
generally called at the period — and the other conferring 
on her for life an annuity of £1,000, out of the issues 
of lands in England and Wales. 

Henry and his Court were at Windsor on September 
ist, which was a Sunday. A manuscript account in 
the British Museum* relates how the Lady was con- 
veyed by noblemen and heralds to the King, who was 
accompanied by the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, 
the French Ambassador and others. "Mr. Garter 99 
(Thomas Wriothesley, Garter King-at-Arms) bore the 
patent of creation ; and the Lady Mary Howard, 
Norfolk's daughter, the ermine-furred mantle of 
crimson velvet and the coronet which Anne was to 
wear. Dressed in a straight-sleeved surcoat of crim- 
son velvet, also ermine-furred, and with her hair 
worn flowing and completely covered with the most 
costly jewels (this touch is given by a describer of the 
scene in the " Venetian Calendar "), she came before 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. V., page 552. For the 
patents see page 585. 

• 146 

The Marchioness of Pembroke 147 

the King, led by the Countesses of Sussex and Rutland, 
and knelt while the Bishop of Winchester read out her 
patent of creation. Then Henry invested her with 
her mantle and coronet, and handed to her the two 
patents. She expressed her thanks to him, and returned 
to her chamber. The manuscript adds the information 
that she presented to Mr. Garter for her apparel £8, 
and to the Office of Arms, £11 13s. 4d. ; while the King 
gave them £5. 

Chapuys in his report to the Emperor mentions that 
the creation took place before Mass, and that after 
Mass, which was performed by the Bishop of Win- 
chester, the King and the French Ambassador drew 
near to the altar and signed and swore to certain articles. 
Dr. Foxe having made a speech in praise of the Anglo- 
French alliance, of which God, not man, he declared, 
must have been the inventor, " the singers began to 
sing Te Deum and the trumpets and other instruments 
to do their duty." 

There were two curious points about this honour 
for Anne Boleyn. In the first place, no one had 
previously been made a peeress in her own right in 
England, and, secondly, the title was granted in 
tail male, without reference to the necessity of a son 
being " lawfully begotten." Whether we need from 
the second point deduce, as do some of her biographers,* 
that Anne now yielded to the King is, at least, 
debatable. At any rate, we may admit that the goal 
of her ambition was within sight of her eyes. She 

* " No other theory," says Friedmann, " will account for all the 
circumstances — the curious wording of the patent, the promotion of 
Anne immediately after Warham's death, the nomination of Cranmer 
[to Canterbury], and the premature birth of Elizabeth.' 1 

But, after all, Elizabeth was not born until September 7th, 1533. 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

could not well have been more publicly announced 
as Queen Elect, with Katharine's marriage still 

In Rome, rather oddly, the bestowal of this new 
title and of the annuity was at first interpreted as 
meaning that Henry was giving up the struggle and 
contemplated finding another husband for Anne ! 
Chapuys was not under this delusion in England, 
with the preparations for the trip to Calais going on before 
his eyes. On October ist he describes the Lady busy 
buying costly dresses, and the King, not content with 
giving her his own jewels, sending the Duke of Norfolk 
to obtain the Queen's for her as well. On Norfolk's 
arrival, Katharine protested that she might not send 
jewels or anything else to the King, who had long ago 
forbidden her to do so ; " and, besides, it was against 
her conscience to give her jewels to adorn a person 
who was the scandal of Christendom." But if the 
King expressly asked them of her, she added, she 
would obey him in this as in other things. Henry 
thereon sent a gentleman of his chamber to her, and 
Katharine gave up all the jewellery she had, " where- 
with the King was well pleased." 

Katharine, according to Chapuys, was much afraid 
that Henry would marry Anne in Calais ; but the Lady 
had assured some trusted friend that, even if the King 
wished that, she would not consent. " She wishes it 
to be done here, in the place where queens are wont 
to be married and crowned." Obviously, it was still 
Anne's to command, and the King's to obey, which 
may be circumstantial evidence against the theory 
that she had yet yielded. 

It was not until October nth that Henry and Anne 

The Marchioness of Pembroke 149 

actually set sail from Dover to Calais. The delay 
was caused by the vexed question, of which we have 
already heard, who should act as hostess in France. 
The Queen of Navarre was ill, or said she was, and 
could not undertake the task. The French proposed 
the Duchess of Vendome ; but Henry objected to her 
as having been of a gay reputation and as " likely to 
bring with her companions of bad repute, which would 
be a disgrace and an insult to the English ladies." 
Accordingly, the idea of a reception of the Marchioness 
of Pembroke by a French princess was abandoned, 
and the suite which was intended to accompany her 
was reduced considerably. 

As far as men were concerned, Henry and the 
Marchioness were sufficiently splendidly attended on 
their journey. Her father, her brother, her uncle 
Norfolk, and Sir James Boleyn, her father's brother, 
with their retinues, were but a few in a great train of 
courtiers and men-at-arms. Thomas Wyatt was also 
of the party, as is witnessed by his lines : 

Sometime I fled the fire that me brent 
By sea, by land, by water, and by wind ; 

And now I follow the coals that be quent, 
From Dover to Calais, against my mind. 

Others in attendance on the King were " a legion of 
doctors and monks who are in his favour about the 
divorce, and among them the Jews he summoned from 
Venice," says Chapuys. We hear elsewhere of a Jew 
who had been taken into counsel as to the Mosaic 
law with reference to a deceased brother's wife. 

The travellers embarked on the Swallow at Dover 
on October nth, and reached Calais the same night. 
The meeting between Henry and Francis, at which 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

no ladies were present, took place at the English 
frontier on October 21st. They rode together to 
Boulogne, and on the 25th came to Calais. Lavish 
and splendid festivities marked the days spent to- 
gether by the royal pair ; but only on the 27th did 
Anne meet the French King. It was a Sunday, and 
the two monarchs heard Mass separately in their own 
lodgings. In the afternoon Henry called at Staple 
Hall, where Francis was housed, and, after a display 
of bear- and bull-baiting there, brought him back to 
supper. The meal was followed by the appearance of 
four damsels in crimson satin, carrying tabards, who 
ushered in eight ladies, masked, and dressed in cloth 
of gold, slashed with crimson tinsel satin, puffed 
with cloth of silver and knit with laces of gold. These 
splendid figures danced with Francis, his brother-in- 
law, the King of Navarre, and the French lords. 
Henry himself unmasked the ladies, when it was 
discovered that the Marchioness of Pembroke had 
been dancing with Francis, Lady Derby with Navarre, 
and that the other maskers included Lady Fitzwalter, 
Lady Rochford, Lady Lisle, and Lady Wallop, wife 
of the Lieutenant of Calais. The dancing then 
continued for an hour.* 

Compared with what Henry had desired in the way of 
a reception in France for his future wife, the affair at 
Calais was no doubt a disappointment, and but an insig- 
nificant part of the pageantry of the visit as a whole. 
But Francis was affable to Anne and talked with her 
for a long time (giving her, we may suppose, more 
flattery and promises), while before he took farewell 

* Wynkyn de Worde (" Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. V., 
page 623) ; and Hall's " Chronicle." 

The Marchioness of Pembroke 151 

of Henry on the 29th he seems to have urged him to 
proceed with the marriage, leaving the defence of 
his cause before the Pope till afterwards. Chapuys, 
in England, heard that they had agreed to send a 
demand to the Pope to declare immediately in favour 
of the divorce, or to remit the cause to England, in 
default of which both Kings would abrogate the 
Papal authority in their realms, and Henry would 
have the case decided by his own prelates. 

Henry had intended to return home soon after the 
departure of Francis ; but bad weather compelled 
him to remain in Calais until November 13th. On 
arrival at Dover he spent a few days there, on the 
pretence of consulting about the construction of 
harbours in the neighbourhood, but really, says 
Chapuys, to have an excuse for demanding money 
from his subjects for the expenses of the journey. 
On the 24th he reached Eltham, and only on the 
26th was he back at Greenwich, with his mission 

It is pointed out, with pained surprise, by Miss 
Strickland, in her biography of Anne Boleyn, that 
the young lady played and won a good deal of money 
from the King at cards during November. The Privy 
Purse expenses, indeed, bear this out. At Calais on 
the nth Anne won 15s. On the way back through 
Kent, on the 20th she, with Bryan and Weston (of 
whom we shall hear again), took £9 6s. 8d. from the 
King ; on the 25th she and Bryan made 20 crowns ; 
at Greenwich on the 26th she, Bryan and Weston 
again won 80 crowns, and on the 28th she alone, 50 
crowns. To make matters worse, as Miss Strickland 
notes, these orgies were over " Pope Julius's game," 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

no doubt with topical allusions, which cannot have 
been at all ladylike. 

As some slight mitigation of our condemnation of 
Anne for such reprehensible conduct, we may adduce 
a letter addressed to " the most onerabyll Lady of 
Penbroke " by Richard Lyst, a lay brother at the 
Observants' convent at Greenwich, who sympathized 
with Friar Laurence rather than with the majority 
of the brethren and acted as an intelligencer against 
the latter. After telling how he, for answering those 
who had declared themselves 1 ' agaynst God, the 
Kyngis Grace, and yow," had suffered oftentimes 
rebukes and troubles, being called in derision her chap- 
lain, though he was not yet a priest, Lyst concluded 
by acknowledging his indebtedness to her for 40s. 
for clothing and other things necessary for his poor 
mother — " but I am half asshamyde and more to 
begge ony more of yow because yowre Grace hath 
byn so goode and benyfyssyal unto my poore mother 
yn tyme past."* 

In another letter, to Cromwell on November 7th, 
Lyst begs to be recommended meekly to " my lady 
marcus of Penbroke," to whom he and his poor mother 
were so bound by her charitable benefits. 

If this were merely a solitary instance of Anne's 
charity, bestowed on one who could make some 
return by championing her cause, in however humble 
a way, it would scarcely be worth recording ; 
but we shall see that such was not the case. After 
her accession to the throne, she gave freely in charity, 
and but for the malice of her enemies she might have 
been recognized as an open-handed rather than a 

* Ellis, " Original Letters," 3rd Series, Vol. II., page 245. 

The Marchioness of Pembroke 153 

grasping woman. It is true her money went mostly 
to the poor, which from a worldly point of view was a 
bad investment, as were her gifts to needy courtiers, 
when it would have served her better to bribe such 
enemies as were accessible to bribes. 

It cannot be denied, of course, that during the 
period of his infatuation, Henry was extremely lavish 
in his gifts to Anne. On the top of his grant of the 
annuity of £1,000 for life and his present of jewels — 
not only his own and Katharine's, by the way, but 
also some of his sister the Duchess of Suffolk's — came 
a magnificent collection of plate, gilt, parcel-gilt, 
and silver, comprising cups, bowls, basins, flagons, ewers, 
spoons, " salts," " chaundillers," some from the King's 
treasure at York Place, with the royal arms upon them, 
and some from what the King had acquired at the sale 
of the late Sir Henry Guildford's plate. In total 
money-value this gift amounted to £1,188 us. iod. 

It is possible that this was the King's New Year 
present at the end of 1532 j for, though in the papers 
at the Record Office the list appears as given by the 
King's Highness to " my lady marques of Penbroke," 
it is endorsed as M given unto the Queen," the endorse- 
ment thus being subsequent to Anne's marriage on 
January 25th. 

Henry had laid his plans in France for bestowing 
on the object of his affections the last gift he had 
to bestow. While still at Calais he had ordered the 
prorogation of Parliament until February 4th, 1533 ; 
and he had sent to the Emperor, notifying him that he 
was recalling Cranmer, appointing Dr. Nicholas 
Hawkins as ambassador in his place. With all possi- 
bility of opposition in Parliament removed, and with 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

the bait of the still vacant archbishopric of Canterbury 
held out to Cranmer, at present no more than an 
archdeacon, Henry felt that he could act on the 
lines concerted between himself and Francis. The 
point was to lose no time. The Pope had at least 
drafted (or had drafted for him) a brief dated November 
15th, in which, beginning with rather mild reproaches 
against his conduct, he had concluded with a direct 
threat that unless, within a month of the brief's 
receipt, Henry took back Katharine and put aside 
Anne until a Papal decision on the cause should be 
given, they would both be declared excommunicate. 
If he should on his own authority divorce himself from 
Katharine and marry Anne or any other woman, such 
marriage would be invalid. 

This brief was granted by Clement with great 
reluctance, and only put in the hands of Ortiz in 
December on condition that it should not be published 
before the Papal nuncio in England should have 
spoken to Henry on the subject. But Ortiz was 
satisfied to give a pledge to this effect, knowing that, 
at his master's request, the Pope was travelling to 
Bologna to meet him before the end of the year. 
He trusted, no doubt, that that Emperor's personal 
influence would be sufficient to induce Clement to 
withdraw the condition and allow the immediate 
publication of the brief. As a matter of fact, 
however, Charles was able to do little except persuade 
the Pope to agree to a scheme of his on quite a different 
matter. He wanted a General Council of the Church 
to deal with the question of the Lutherans, who were 
causing him so much trouble in his own realms. 
Clement agreed, and wrote to both Henry and Francis, 

The Marchioness of Pembroke 155 

suggesting such a Council " for the extirpation of 
error." In the circumstances he did not wish to render 
the two Kings hostile by threatening one of them with 
excommunication. Besides, there had arrived in 
Bologna the two French Cardinals, Grammont and 
Tournon, whom Francis had sent to Italy in accordance 
with his arrangement with Henry at Calais ; and they 
were able to exert counter-pressure on the Pope to 
prevent any precipitate action. The Cardinals, writes 
Benet to Henry on January 14th, " think it advisable 
not to use threats but pleasant words to the Pope." 
Nevertheless, with pleasant words they accomplished 
their ends. 

Similarly Henry was using gentle means in England. 
He avoided meeting the nuncio, but made plausible 
excuses for not seeing him. He had sent Katharine 
to Hertford ; but he gratified her by releasing, on 
Christmas Eve, her chaplain Thomas Abel, whom in 
August he had sent to the Tower for publishing a 
book in her favour. Katharine appears to have 
believed that the King was relenting. She heard, 
Chapuys told the Emperor on January 3rd, that he 
repented having sent her so far away, and thought 
God had inspired him to acknowledge his error. 
Chapuys himself was not of the same opinion. All 
he saw in Henry was the fear of an adverse decision 
in the near future, making procrastination his only 
hope until he could get something done through 
Convocation and Parliament. 

Chapuys was not far wrong. What he did not 
know, however, was that Henry had carried his pro- 
crastination to the requisite point, and had decided 
to marry first and legalize his position afterwards. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

On Cranmer's return to England, he had offered him 
the archbishopric of Canterbury. Cranmer accepted ; 
but it was still necessary to obtain the Pope's consent 
to the appointment. Henry accordingly applied to 
Rome for Bulls, which he had no expectation of not 

Why then did he not await the arrival of the Bulls, 
only a matter of a few weeks' delay, before proceeding 
to the marriage ? The only possible conclusion is 
that, if the date accepted for it is correct, the cere- 
mony had been anticipated, that Anne Boleyn, at 
some time subsequent to her elevation to the Pem- 
broke title, had abandoned her resistance to her lover, 
and that she was aware of the consequences of the 
fact. There appears no escape from the assumption 
that Henry and Anne were married on January 25th, 
I 533* l an d the future Queen Elizabeth was born on 
the following September 7th. 

The breach of propriety is obvious ; but the 
astonishing thing is, not that it had at last occurred, 
but that it had not, as Anne's enemies would have 

* The alternative date proposed is November 14th, 1532, immediately 
after the return from Calais, which would have the merit of removing 
all scandal about Queen Elizabeth in the matter. But Cranmer, in 
his letter to Hawkins on June 27th, 1533, distinctly says : " You may 
not imagine that the Coronation was before her marriage, for she 
was married much about St. Paul's Day last, as the condition thereof 
doth well appear, by reason she is now somewhat big with child." 
He adds that the common report that he married her " is plainly false, 
for I myself knew not thereof a fortnight after it was done " (" Cran- 
mer's Remains," Vol. I., page 31). 

On May 10th Chapuys gives the " Conversion of St. Paul " as the 
date of the marriage. 

Lastly, Ralph Brooke, York Herald, in his " Catalogue and Succession 
of the Kings, etc.," clearly follows the official date (though it was not ever 
officially announced) when he assigns the ceremony to January 25th. 

The Marchioness of Pembroke 157 

been so glad to prove, occurred before. It is easy, in 
these days of pure and enlightened morality, to con- 
demn a young woman of twenty-five, with an entirely 
selfish and unscrupulous father and a mother whose 
character seems to have been too colourless to make 
any impression on her contemporaries (the insinua- 
tions against her were of later date), for giving way 
after a struggle of at least five years to the importuni- 
ties of a man who had the power to remove her head 
the moment he wished to do so. Who would have 
lifted a finger to save her ? Her spell over Henry 
was her only protection against the hatred of all who 
sympathized with Queen Katharine, all who held by 
the tenets of the Church, all who disliked the alliance 
with France, all who wished to lead the King in 
different directions from those in which she was 
guiding him in politics and religion. Pro-French, 
" a perfect Lutheran " (in the words of Chapuys), 
and — well, we shall hear shortly some of the terms 
which her most virulent foes applied to her personal 
character — she was fighting tremendous odds. The 
old Boleyn party had practically vanished. Her 
chief allies were that subterranean worker, Cromwell, 
the pliant Cranmer, and, where his own interests 
were not prejudiced, her father. Thomas Cromwell, 
Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Boleyn, on whom of 
the trio could she rely ? 

So she played her own hand, in her own way. We 
cannot tell whether, for conquest, it was necessary 
for her to stoop as she did. That is a secret which 
she took with her to her grave in the Tower. 

Equally useless is it to inquire whether she loved 
Henry VIII. In the abominable light in which his 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

character and personality stand revealed nowadays, 
the difficulty is to understand how anyone can have 
loved him. Nor do his looks, to our eyes, commend 
him ; though we know that to his contemporaries 
he was a very proper figure of a man. Whatever was 
the essence of his fascination, it has evaporated. 
Yet Wolsey could write of him as though he were 
an angel. And Anne was a woman. 



ON January 25th, 1533, either at York Place or 
at Greenwich Palace, there was secretly per- 
formed the marriage of Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn.* 
So great was the secrecy that it is not even certain 
who performed the ceremony. It was not Cranmer ; 
for we have no reason whatever to doubt his state- 
ment to Archdeacon Hawkins that he still knew 
nothing of the marriage a fortnight after it was done. 
According to what Chapuys heard later, it was George 
Browne, an Augustinian friar, and this theory is now 
generally accepted in preference to that which makes 
the officiating priest Dr. Rowland Lee, one of the 
royal chaplains, afterwards Bishop of Chester. Lee's 
name appears in several circumstantial accounts, 
but it is not possible to trace them back to their origin. 

If the name of the priest is doubtful, so also are 
those of the witnesses of the marriage. We know 
that Norfolk was not present, for he several times 
stated as much when it would have been the best 
policy to admit it if he had been present. To Chapuys 
he affirmed that, though he was not there, " there 
were men in the Council who had witnessed it." He 
refused, however, to give their names, in spite of the 

* "In the closet at White-Hall, "- says Ralph Brooke — White-Hall 
(or Whitehall) being, as has been explained, the new name for York 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Imperial ambassador's comment on the strangeness of 
a prince with such loyal subjects as Henry performing 
such an act in a corner (soub la cheminee). What 
the ambassador himself had heard was that those 
present were the Lady's father, mother, brother, 
two of her favourites, and one of the King's priests. 
The assistance of some of her immediate family is at 
least likely. 

The marriage was accomplished, for which Anne 
had striven so hard. The awkward fact remained 
that, in the eyes of the Church, and of the world in 
general, Katharine of Aragon was still Henry's lawful 
wife, and that only the proof that Katharine had 
never held that position could make the new union 
valid. Therefore Henry could not publish the mar- 
riage until he was in a state to get someone to declare, 
with a show of authority, that he had all along been 
free to marry. The instrument was ready, in Cranmer ; 
but Cranmer's authority could not be held up, even 
by Henry, until the Pope had confirmed him in the 
archbishopric. Great circumspection was thus still 
needed lest any breath of the event of January 25th 
should get abroad before there was a regularly con- 
secrated Archbishop of Canterbury in existence. 

It was in particular necessary to keep on good 
terms with de Burgo, who had been endeavouring 
for weeks to obtain an audience of the King. He 
would appear to have got to see him about the middle 
of January and to have spoken of the brief of Novem- 
ber 15th, only to be put off with evasions. On the 
29th of the month, however, he prevailed on Norfolk 
to arrange another audience for the morrow. Ac- 
cordingly on January 30th he was officially received 

[To lace p. 160. 

Anne Makes her Marriage 


by Henry, and spent the whole day with him and his 
Council, going from one to the other. Chapuys called 
on him afterwards, trying to find out what had hap- 
pened. De Burgo would not even admit that he had 
had any interviews. The Imperial ambassador was 
inclined to suspect him of being favourable to some 
compromise over the divorce, and says that he con- 
fessed to having had large offers made to him with 
that in view.* 

It does not seem that de Burgo was allowed to 
mention the threatening brief. Anyhow, there is no 
hint of his having done so. Henry treated him with 
a great show of honour, and insisted on his accompany- 
ing him to the House of Lords on February 8th, 
making him sit on his right hand, while the French 
ambassador, Montpesat, sat on his left. On the 
following day he was induced to attend the sitting of 
the House of Commons also. It was with some 
difficulty that Norfolk was able to persuade him to 
this, as he feared to lend his presence to a meeting 
where something derogatory to the Pope's authority 
might be discussed. Care was taken that this should 
not happen. And now the nuncio had been exhibited 
in both Houses, obviously on the best of terms with 
the King, an ingenious plan for disarming suspicion 
of the utter defiance of the Pope's command which 
had just been perpetrated. 

While the secret of the marriage had been perfectly 
kept, and the nuncio was being cajoled with ap- 
pearances of friendship, the King and the Lady made 
no concealment of their intention to get married. 
They had never spoken so much nor so openly of 

* Chapuys to the Emperor, February 9th, 1533. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

their matrimonial purpose, says Chapuys. " The 
other day the Lady told a priest who wished to enter 
her service that he must wait a little until she had 
celebrated her marriage with the King." In another 
of the ambassador's letters it is related how, early in 
February, the Lady several times said she felt it as 
sure as death that the King would marry her shortly. 
As for her father, he told the Earl of Rutland that 
the King did not mean to be so considerate as he had 
been, but would complete the marriage, " which being 
once done by the authority of Parliament, they could 
pacify objectors more easily than now." Would 
Rutland, as a kinsman of the King, he asked, oppose 
the scheme ? Rutland replied that the matter was a 
spiritual one and could not be decided by Parliament ; 
whereat Wiltshire abused him heartily, and forced 
him at length to say that he would agree to whatever 
the King wished. " The Lady's father," comments 
Chapuys, " had not declared himself until the present, 
but, as the Duke of Norfolk has several times told me, 
had rather dissuaded the King than otherwise." 

On February 23rd, the ambassador had got at 
least an inkling of the truth ; for he heard, and com- 
municated to the Emperor, that M the elect of Canter- 
bury " had performed the marriage, in the presence 
of the witnesses whom we have mentioned above. 
A little later he relates how on St. Matthias's Day 
the Lady received the King at dinner in her richly 
tapestried chamber, wherein was the most beautiful 
sideboard of gold that ever was seen. She sat on 
Henry's right, and the old Duchess of Norfolk (Anne, 
dowager duchess) on his left, while at a transverse 
table at the end of theirs sat Sir Thomas Audley, now 

Anne Makes her Marriage 


full Chancellor, the Duke of Suffolk, and many other 
guests. " During dinner the King was so much 
occupied with mirth and talk that he said little that 
could be understood ; but he said to the Duchess of 
Norfolk : 1 Has not the Marchioness got a grand dowry 
and a rich marriage, as all that we see ? — and the 
rest of the plate belongs to the Lady also.' " 

Such talk as this was perhaps designed to mislead 
the hearers into thinking that the King was only 
jesting ; for Henry certainly did not want the actual 
fact of his marriage to come out yet. He wished 
Francis to hear the news first, and it was not until 
March nth that he issued a warrant to Lord Rochford 
to proceed to France, with instructions to inform the 
King that his advice had been acted upon and to ask 
him to order his representatives in Rome to join with 
those of England in urging the Pope and the Cardinals 
to accept the accomplished fact. As, however, he 
had previously induced Francis to assure His Holiness 
that he would take no immediate step — thus en- 
couraging Clement in his policy of delaying excom- 
munication — it is not surprising that the French King 
was little pleased at the news. He was arranging 
to have a personal meeting with the Pope ; and now his 
English ally had put him in a false position. Rochford 
did not have a good reception. As usual, the enemies 
of the Boleyn family attributed this to arrogance on 
his part, for which there is no evidence. It was only 
two months later that Henry employed him on 
another mission to Francis, in conjunction with his 
uncle Norfolk. 

The situation in Rome was a remarkable one. 
Henry's request for the confirmation of Cranmer's 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury had been 
received, and, in spite of Chapuys having frequently 
warned the Emperor against him, Cranmer was pro- 
posed in Consistory on February 21st, and the Bulls 
were issued next day. Then, on the 24th, a treaty 
was signed between the Emperor and the Pope, pro- 
viding for the defence of Italy against the Turks ; 
but with a clause inserted, at the Emperor's request, 
that the English divorce cause should not be tried 
anywhere except Rome, while the Pope agreed to 
act upon his brief of November 15th. If, as Chapuys 
implies,* de Burgo had presented the brief to Henry 
in January, the time-limit for putting away Anne 
had expired, and the Emperor was entitled to demand 
action. Yet at this very period we find Henry writing 
to Benet to tell the Pope : " Ye be St. Peter's successor, 
a fisher, who when he draweth his net too fast 
and too hard, then he breaketh it ; and pulling it 
softly taketh fish good plenty ! " Princes, adds 
Henry, are great fishes and must be handled with 

Clement's lot, at the hands of the three great 
monarchs and their agents, was indeed unhappy ; 
and it is not to be wondered at that his policy was 
that of China towards the Western Powers in the 
Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, to meet 
the weapons of strength with the weapon of weakness. 

Henry was now clearing the way for the public 
acknowledgment of his second marriage, with the 

* Chapuys to the Emperor, February 9th, 1523 : " The month fixed 
in the brief to the King is nearly passed, and there are no signs of his 
obeying it."- 

t " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. VI., page 86. 

Anne Makes her Marriage 


religious consequences which it involved. He was 
well aware that he could not make it popular at home ; 
but he was determined to show that he was acting 
in accordance with his conscience. There being no 
Press in those days to be inspired, his chief means of 
reaching the public was through the preachers. We 
have seen how he organized a campaign from the 
pulpits in 1532 ; and this he continued energetically. 
Chapuys tells how in March, 1533, he got a priest to 
preach, before him and the Lady, that all the while 
he had lived with the Queen he had been guilty of 
adultery, and that all good subjects should pray to 
God to pardon his offence and enlighten him at once 
to take another wife. It was the duty of his Council 
even to constrain him to such a course, regardless of 
censure from the Pope, who should not be obeyed in this 
matter, as what he commanded was against God and 
against reason. It would be no cause for wonder, the 
preacher added, if His Majesty took to himself a wife 
of humble condition, in consideration of her merits, 
as Saul and David had done. 

After the previous exaltation of Anne's lineage, this 
last apology sounds rather curious. But the prejudice 
in favour of a " royal " marriage had to be regarded. 

At the same time as this appeal to God and reason 
against the Pope, a measure was pressed forward in 
Parliament to prevent recourse to Rome in ecclesias- 
tical matters and to make the introduction of Bulls 
of excommunication an offence punishable by the 
penalties of praemunire — a comfortable word indeed 
to Henry VIII. ! 

Before the end of March the long expected Bulls 
arrived from Rome, confirming the appointment of 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Archbishop Cranmer, to the great regret of everyone, 
asserts Chapuys, who tells his master : " There is 
not a lord at this Court, either on the King's side or 
on the Queen's, who does not publicly say that His 
Holiness will betray Your Majesty." Unwittingly, 
of course, Clement had already done so. The con- 
secration of Cranmer on March 30th marked the 
end of the struggle which had begun in 1527 to get 
rid of Katharine. It also marked the advent of 
many much more important things. 

Events moved with great rapidity. On Palm 
Sunday, March 31st, the Bishop of Rochester was 
arrested and put under the charge of his brother of 
Winchester, nominally on account of having alleged 
that Lord Rochford had taken over to Paris huge 
sums to be used as bribes by the French agents in 
Rome, but really for his persistent advocacy of the 
Queen's cause, culminating in his resistance to the 
measures just brought forward in the Convocation 
of Canterbury. Convocation decided, under com- 
pulsion, but by very big majorities, (1) that the 
Pope had no dispensing power for marriage with a 
brother's widow when she had been cognita, and (2) that 
Katharine had been cognita. Thus at length Henry 
felt free to announce his marriage with Anne, and 
decided to inform the hapless Katharine, now secluded 
at Ampthill under the supervision of Lord Mountjoy. 

On April 9th, the Wednesday before Easter, the 
Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the Marquis of Exeter, 
the Earl of Oxford and others waited on Katharine, and 
told her that she must henceforward abstain from using 
the title of Queen and would be known as Princess 
Dowager of Wales, while the King would allow her 

Anne Makes her Marriage 


a pension of £8,000. On her protest that she was 
Queen and would not relinquish her pretensions, 
Chapuys says that Norfolk told her that it did not 
matter, as the King had married Anne Boleyn more 
than two months ago. 

Chapuys further alleges that " this cursed Anne " 
not only intended to do the Queen all the harm she 
could, but had boasted that she meant to have the 
Princess Mary for her maid or to marry her to some 
varlet. In his wrath he suggests that it would be 
right to foment an armed rising in England, and to 
lend Imperial assistance to Scotland. He supposed 
naturally that the Emperor would be anxious to 
avenge the cruel slight to his aunt, and had hopes 
that the Pope would now " call in the secular arm " 
to reinforce excommunication. He did not, of course, 
know that only a few days after his own letter to 
Charles, Clement, urged by Ortiz that as soon as he 
was assured of Henry's contumacy he should declare 
him excommunicated, would only reply that he must 
see what he ought to do !* 

April 12th was Easter Eve, and to celebrate the 
occasion Anne went to Mass in the King's Chapel 
at Greenwich in royal state, loaded with jewels and 
clad in a dress of cloth of gold frieze. Her train was 
carried by her cousin, the Lady Mary Howard, lately 
affianced to the Duke of Richmond, illegitimate son 
of the King, and a suite of sixty young ladies accom- 
panied her, among whom probably was her favourite 
friend Margaret, sister of Thomas Wyatt and wife of 
Sir Anthony Lee. So she was escorted to the church 
and back, with even more solemnities than had been 

* Ortiz to the Emperor, April 14th, 1533. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

observed for Katharine ; and the preacher offered 
prayers for her by name. " All the world is aston- 
ished," says Chapuys, " for it looks like a dream, and 
even those who take her part know not whether to laugh 
or cry. The King is very watchful, and begs the lords 
go visit and pay their court to the new Queen, whom he 
intends to have solemnly crowned after Easter." 

On Easter Day Dr. Browne, now made head of the 
Augustinian order (as a reward for having performed 
the ceremony on January 25th, according to Chapuys), 
preached a sermon in which he bade the people in 
future expressly to pray for Queen Anne. At this 
the majority of the congregation took their departure, 
with great murmurings and ill looks, not waiting for 
the rest of the sermon. The King was much annoyed 
over the occurrence, and sent word to the Lord Mayor 
to see that nothing of the kind happened again. 
Endeavouring to carry out his orders, the Lord Mayor 
assembled the City Companies and warned them that 
not only must they not murmur against the King's 
marriage, but also they must prevent their appren- 
tices, u and, what is more difficult, their wives," from 
doing so. Such prohibitions, however, only served 
to embitter the hearts of the people.* 

Henry had received from the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury on Easter Eve a letter dated from Lambeth on 
the previous day, in which permission was asked 
" to take cognizance of His Grace's great cause of 
matrimony." This letter had, of course, been pre- 
arranged ; and Henry replied to it with a license 
to proceed. Cranmer at once cited Katharine to 
appear before his court at the Augustinian monastery 

* Chapuys to the Emperor, April 27th, 1533. 

Anne Makes her Marriage 


of Dunstable — not, as is sometimes represented, a 
particularly inconvenient place for Katharine to get 
to from Ampthill, in the same county, though there 
is no doubt that Cranmer was not at all anxious for 
her presence at the court. Katharine, for her part, 
advised by Chapuys, scorned the citation ; and when 
proceedings opened at Dunstable on May ioth she 
was neither present herself nor represented by anyone 
else. The Archbishop declared her contumacious, 
and on the 23rd gave his formal judgment that the 
marriage between Henry and Katharine of Aragon 
was invalid. Returning to Lambeth, on the 28th he 
pronounced that the King's marriage with Anne Boleyn 
was lawful. The purpose of his elevation to the see of 
Canterbury was accomplished, and the way for the 
ceremony of crowning Anne as Queen was now clear. 

Chapuys had not omitted to register his protest 
on behalf of the Emperor, having written personally 
to Henry on the 5th, and having thereafter a long 
discussion with the Chancellor, the Earl of Wiltshire, 
and the rest of the Council. Though Chapuys was 
fairly outspoken, a direct quarrel was avoided. But 
the ambassador wrote to Charles begging him to send 
over troops, and assuring him that the late King 
Richard, who had been chased out of his kingdom 
by two or three thousand Frenchmen, had never been 
so hated as this King. 

Chapuys was much in error as to the hatred felt 
for Henry. He was more correct with regard to the 
unpopularity of Anne, to whose efforts to gain the 
good will of London he refers without specifying 
what they were. He says that the Londoners — the 
City authorities, it is to be presumed — wish all the 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

inhabitants to contribute to the cost of the Coronation, 
which will mean 5,000 crowns — 3,000 as a present 
for the Lady and the rest for the ceremonial. " For- 
merly there was no opposition to this contribution. 
Now they compel even foreigners to contribute ; 
but I hear they will have the decency to exempt 
the Spaniards." The Spaniards were, in fact, exempted. 

One more piece of gossip is related to the Emperor 
in connection with the preparations for the Corona- 
tion. This the ambassador got from the Duke of 
Norfolk before his departure to France. Henry had 
decided to send Norfolk and Rochford to the French 
King, so that they should be present at his interview 
with the Pope and endeavour to prevent any immediate 
action hostile to himself being taken. Knowing from 
Rochford how ill Francis had received the news of 
his marriage, Henry attached such importance to 
this new mission that he hurried his two envoys 
out of the country before the Coronation, at which, 
accordingly, Anne's brother and uncle were not allowed 
to be present. On the eve of his journey Norfolk 
confided to Chapuys that there had been trouble 
over the seizure of the late Queen's barge to convey 
Anne up the Thames from Greenwich to the Tower. 
The new Queen's chamberlain (Thomas, Lord Burgh 
of Gainsborough) not only took the barge, but removed 
and mutilated Katharine's arms upon it. According 
to Norfolk, Henry was annoyed, and rather roughly 
rebuked Lord Burgh. The barge, he said, belonged 
to Katharine, and there were many others in the 
river quite as suitable. 

Nevertheless, Anne kept the barge, and in it made 
her triumphal procession up the Thames. 

[To lace p. 170. 



HENRY was determined that the ceremonies 
marking the elevation of his beloved to the 
throne should lack nothing that had adorned previous 
events of the kind. If they had been married "in 
a corner," she should at least be crowned in a full 
blaze of glorious publicity. Cromwell seems to have 
been the organizer, in his capacity of Master of the 
Jewels. At any rate, a letter to him from Sir Anthony 
Browne exists, in which he is given chief credit.* 
And, in spite of the malicious sneers of Chapuys, it 
is obvious that there was a magnificent spectacle, 
or rather series of spectacles, which did not fail to 
impress all beholders. 

Proceedings began on Thursday, May 29th, with 
Anne's progress by water to the Tower, whither Henry 
had gone on ahead secretly, so that he might be able 
to receive her on arrival. The City Companies, in 
their various barges, had waited on the Lord Mayor, 
Sir Stephen Peacock, who, in the barge of his own 
icraft, the Haberdashers, richly hung with cloth of gold, 
marshalled them and proceeded with them down to 
Greenwich. According to a manuscript preserved 
in the College of Arms, there were forty-eight barges 

* Letter of June 12th, 1533. " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.,'' 
Vol. VI., page 287. 


172 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

in attendance on the Mayor, all decked with arras 
and hung with banners and with pennons of the arms 
of the crafts in fine gold, which flashed in the sunlight. 
Every barge had guns on board, and in addition there 
were two " foistes, with great shot of ordnance," 
which went before the barges. These " foistes M 
were a species of gunboat and presented a wonderful 
sight. One carried the new Queen's device, a white 
falcon, crowned, on a mount, standing upon a " rowte " 
of gold, encircled with red and white roses — signifying 
the hope that Anne would produce an heir to the lines 
of York and Lancaster. About the mount sat a 
chorus of virgins, singing and playing. On the other 
foiste was the figure of a great red dragon, casting 
out wildfire from his mouth, and surrounded by 
monsters and savage men ; truly a contrast to the 
chorus of virgins. 

Off Greenwich Palace the barge about which her 
chamberlain had had the trouble was waiting for Anne 
to come on board between three and four o'clock. . 
It is described by a French observer, Camusat, as a 
boat like a brigantine, painted with Anne's colours 
outside, and adorned with many banners. The barges 
of the lords spiritual and temporal were in attendance, 
and with the exception of Norfolk and Rochford 
practically the whole peerage of the realm was repre- 
sented. At length Anne, accompanied by her train 
of ladies, embarked, and the whole fleet, joined by the 
barges of the City Companies, set out for the Tower. 
It was a marvellous sight, says the College of Arms 
manuscript, how the barges kept such good order 
and space between them that every man could see 
the decking and garnishing of each. " Also the 

The Coronation Festivities 173 

trumpets blowing, shallmes, and minstrels playing 
were a right sumptuous and triumphant sight to see 
and hear all the way as they passed upon the waters, 
to hear the sayd marvellous sweet armone of the sayd 
ynstermentes, the which sounded to be a thinge of 
a nother world." " It was a very beautiful sight," 
agrees the French observer, " for besides the vessels 
there were more than two hundred small boats which 
brought up the rear. The whole river was crowded." 

Orders had been given that, when Her Grace's 
barge came over against Wapping mills, the Tower 
guns were to be fired ; and so now they " lousy d their 
ordinaunce," firing four guns at once. In all over a 
thousand shots were fired here, " besides other shotts 
that were shott at Lymehouse and in other shipps 
lying in the Thames," so that the din must have been 
sufficient to drown " the marvellous sweet armone 
of the ynstermentes." 

When the progress reached the Tower, towards 
five in the evening, a long gangway was found pre- 
pared among the crowd of spectators, leading up to 
the King's Bridge at the Tower entrance. Anne 
landed, accompanied by the lords and ladies, and the 
Mayor, Recorder and two aldermen as representatives 
of the City, while the rest, remaining on their barges, 
" hoved before the Tower, making great melody." 
She was first received by Sir Edward Walsingham, 
Lieutenant, and Sir William Kingston, Constable of 
the Tower, with the latter of whom she was destined 
to renew acquaintance one day in most unhappy 
circumstances on the same spot. After reception by 
other dignitaries on behalf of the King, Anne, with her 
train still following, walked toward the Tower. The 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

King met her and, laying his hands on both her sides, 
kissed her " with great reverence and a joyful coun- 
tenance." She turned and expressed her thanks to 
the Mayor and citizens of London. Then the King 
led her to her chamber, preceded by the Officers of 
Arms. Everyone went to his lodging, except certain 
noblemen and gentlemen in waiting, while the King 
and Queen supped, " and after supper there was 
sumptuous void."* 

This account is drawn from the sources mentioned, 
with others in the " Letters and Papers of Henry VIII.," 
supplemented by the note by Charles Wriothesley 
(son of the Garter King-at-Arms and himself Windsor 
Herald in 1534) in his " Chronicle of England." They 
do not at all bear out the sneer of Chapuys that the 
triumph consisted entirely in the multitude of those 
that took part in it, while all the people showed 
themselves as sorry as though it had been a funeral. 
Doubtless there were murmurings among Katharine's 
friends ; but it is not the habit of the populace to 
despise the charm of pageantry. 

Friday was spent by Henry and Anne in the royal 
apartments of the Tower, the chief event being the 
attendance at dinner of the eighteen or nineteen 
Knights elect of the Bath, whose creation was to be 
the first act of the morrow's ceremony. Among them 
may be noted Francis Weston. Sixty-three other 
knights were "made with the sword" in honour of the 
Coronation, but not until later than those of the Bath. 

On Saturday it had been arranged for Anne to make 

* The " void " was the dessert or finish-up of a repast. " There 
was a void of spice-plates and wine." — " The Coronation of Anne 
Boleyn," in Arbor's " English Garner," Vol. II., page 50. 

The Coronation Festivities 


another progress, this time by land from the Tower to 
Westminster. The streets through which she was to 
pass, as far as Temple Bar, had been gravelled, and 
on one side was a railing. All the windows were 
hung with tapestry, cloth of gold and other draperies, 
and the windows were full of ladies. From Grace- 
church Street to the Little Conduit in Cheapside were 
drawn up on one side the City Companies, and on the 
other the constables in velvet and silk, staff in hand. 
First in the procession came the new Knights of the 
Bath, in blue gowns with hoods on their shoulders, 
purfled with white and with white silk laces. Anne 
followed in an open horse-litter covered inside and out 
with cloth of silver, drawn by two palfreys caparisoned 
with white damask. " Sitting in her hair," as Cranmer 
notes in his already quoted letter to Hawkins, she 
wore a surcoat and mantle of white cloth of tissue, 
furred with ermine ; and her hair, if down, was con- 
fined by a caul or coif, with a circlet of precious stones 
surmounting it. Over her head was carried, by four 
knights of the Cinque Ports in scarlet gowns, a canopy 
variously described as of cloth of silver and of cloth 
of gold. Beside the litter rode the Duke of Suffolk 
and Lord William Howard, the latter as deputy for 
his brother, the absent Duke of Norfolk. 

Twelve ladies on horse followed immediately after 
the litter, clad in cloth of gold ; then a chariot covered 
with the same material, in which were " divers ancient 
old ladies " — as a matter of fact, the Dowager Duchess 
of Norfolk and the Dowager Marchioness of Dorset 
(though one account substitutes Lady Wiltshire for 
the latter) ; then twelve more ladies on horseback, 
in crimson velvet ; then three more gilded chariots, 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

carrying younger ladies ; and lastly twelve more on 
horseback, in black velvet. 

A great escort accompanied these of the nobility 
and gentry of the realm, Court officials, two Arch- 
bishops, the French and Venetian ambassadors, repre- 
sentatives of the Dukes of Normandy and Aquitaine, 
and twelve other French gentlemen. The rear was 
brought up by the Guard, M in coats of goldsmith's 

Various striking pageants were shown on scaffolds 
along the route, and there were " encomies spoken of 
children to her." In Cheapside the Lord Mayor and 
Recorder of London awaited Anne, and, in Wriothes- 
ley's words, " the Recorder made a goodly preposition 
to her, and then the Major [the Recorder, Master 
Baker, according to Stow] gave her a purse of cloath 
of golde, with a thousand markes of angell nobles in it, 
for a presente for the whole bodie of the Cittie." 

The progress continued to St. Paul's, at the east 
end of which was a scaffold wherefrom the children of 
St. Paul's School repeated poetry in honour of the 
King and Queen, which she highly commended. At 
length Westminster was reached, where Anne alighted 
from her litter, and entering the Hall took her place 
at the high dais, where a service of spice and " sut- 
tilties " was offered her, with ypocras and other wines. 
This she sent to her ladies ; and then, thanking all 
those who had attended her, she withdrew to her 
chamber in the White Hall, and then went secretly 
by barge to the King at his manor of Westminster. 
As on the previous day, Henry had taken no part in 
the pageantry, but, having come on ahead, merely 
waited for her at the end of it. 

The Coronation Festivities 


A hostile observer, who is possibly Chapuys,* 
asserts that no one, either in London or the suburbs, 
knelt or uncovered or cried " God save the King, God 
save the Queen," when Anne passed, and that, when 
one of her servants told the Lord Mayor to command 
the people to make the customary shouts, Peacock 
answered that he could not command people's hearts ; 
while her fool (who had been to Jerusalem and spoke 
several languages !), seeing the little honour done to 
her, cried out, " I think you have all scurvy heads 
and dare not uncover ! " How much to believe of 
this it is impossible to say. If Chapuys was the 
writer, it was not his business to report favourably 
on the proceedings. 

The Spanish "Chronicle of Henry VIII.," a contem- 
porary document, which has been edited in English 
by Mr. Hume, also asserts that though, as Anne passed 
through the City, she kept turning her head from one 
side to the other to greet the people, " there were 
hardly ten persons who greeted her with 1 God save 
Your Grace,' as they used to when the sainted Queen 
Katharine went by." The same writer asserts that 
when Henry received Anne that evening he asked, 
" How like you the look of the City, sweetheart ? " 
and that she replied, " Sir, the City itself was well 
enough ; but I saw many caps on heads, and heard 
but few tongues." Now, of all the Emperor's sub- 
jects, a Spaniard was the least likely to look on Queen 
Anne's progress with an unprejudiced eye. We lack 
English confirmation of such ex parte reports. 

June ist was Whit Sunday, and Anne was up 

* See " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII ," Vol. VI., page 266, 
from a lost document. 


178 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

betimes for the exacting programme of the day. It 
was between eight and nine a.m. when she set out on 
foot from her lodging of the night to Westminster Hall, 
the road being carpeted with cloth. Archbishop 
Cranmer, accompanied by the Archbishop of York, 
the Bishops of London, Winchester, Bath and St. 
Asaph, and thirteen abbots, all in pontificals, pro- 
ceeded out of the Abbey to Westminster Hall, " where," 
writes Cranmer to Hawkins, " we received the Queen, 
apparelled in a robe of purple velvet, and all the ladies 
and gentlemen in robes and gowns of scarlet, according 
to the manner used beforetime in such business." 
He notes again that Anne was " in her hair ; " but as 
we have fuller accounts from Wriothesley and others, 
we will now use those. 

After her meeting with the clergy in Westminster 
Hall, Anne started with them for the Abbey, the Duke 
of Suffolk bearing her crown before her and two 
Earls bearing her sceptre and her ivory rod. Over 
her head was a canopy of cloth of gold, borne by six- 
teen representatives of the Cinque Ports. She wore 
a kirtle of crimson velvet and over it a robe of purple 
velvet, both furred with ermine. On her hair was a 
caul of pearls and stones in addition to her coronet. 
Behind her walked the old Duchess of Norfolk, scarlet- 
robed and coronetted, carrying her train, with her 
chamberlain, Lord Burgh, " staying the traine in the 
middes," and the Bishops of London and Winchester 
bearing up the laps of her robe on each side. Ten 
ladies, also scarlet-robed and coronetted, followed 
immediately after her, and then all her maids, in 
gowns of scarlet, with " white lettushe fur." 

After entering the Abbey, Anne rested a while on a 

The Coronation Festivities 


rich chair between the choir and the high altar, and 
then proceeded to the altar, where Cranmer with the 
appointed ceremonies anointed and crowned her. 
He crowned her first with the crown of St. Edward, 
which being too heavy — we know that she had a 
little neck ! — was taken off, and the one made for her 
was put on. She mounted to a high platform, erected 
near the altar and covered with red cloth, and on a 
raised and tapestried seat sat through the Mass which 
followed, wearing her crown. She received the Sacra- 
ment and made her offering at St. Edward's shrine. 
At the end of the service all present left, in order of 
precedence, for Westminster Hall again, the Queen 
under her canopy, with sceptre and rod in her hands, 
supported by her father and Francis, Lord Talbot, 
representing his father the Earl of Shrewsbury. All 
the way from where she sat in the Abbey to the high 
dais in Westminster Hall, both coming and going, she 
had walked upon blue striped cloth, and along a 
railed-in passage. Enclosed, too, was the table at 
which she was to partake of the banquet prepared, 
and none might enter the rails except those deputed 
to serve her. Rich cloth of arras hung all around the 

Now came the wedding feast, without the bride- 
groom ; for Henry, in the company of the French and 
Venetian ambassadors, Dinteville and Capello, only 
watched the scene from a distance, in a cabinet which 
he had had constructed for the occasion in the cloisters 
of St. Stephen's. It was a strange spectacle which 
met their eyes j strange, at least, to read of nowadays. 
At the door of the great hall were conduits pouring out 
wine, and there were kitchens to give viands to 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

all-comers, " the consumption of which," we are told, 
" was enormous." Within, Anne sat with the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury at her table at the upper end, 
raised twelve steps from the ground. Down the hall 
below were four other tables. At the nearer one on 
the right hand of the Queen's sat the lords spiritual 
and temporal, on the left the duchesses and other 
ladies. The Barons of the Cinque Ports were at the 
further table to the right, the Lord Mayor of London 
and the aldermen at the corresponding one to the left. 
When the Queen's Grace had washed her hands — the 
chief ewerer was Sir Henry Wyatt, but he was unable 
to be present, so that his son Thomas deputized for 
him and poured out the water for the lady he had so 
much admired — there came riding into the hall, bare- 
headed and on coursers caparisoned in crimson velvet, 
the Duke of Suffolk, who was not only High Constable 
for the day but steward of the feast, and Lord William 
Howard. This was a sign for the meal to begin. 
Suffolk and Howard rode up and down and around 
the tables, to see that all went well, while the Queen 
was personally waited upon by the Earl of Sussex as 
sewer, the Earl of Essex as carver, the Earl of Derby 
as cupbearer, and Viscount Lisle as pantler. 

We will content ourselves with Wriothesley's ac- 
count of the feast. " The goodlie dishes, with the 
delicate meates," he says, " and the settles, which 
were all gilt, with the noble service that daie done by 
great men of the realm, the goodlie sweete armonie of 
minstrells, with other things, were to[o] long to 
expresse, which was a goodlie sight to see and behold." 

When the Queen had dined and had washed her 
hands again, she stood awhile under the canopy of 

The Coronation Festivities 


state and gazed down the hall. Then came the Earl 
of Sussex bringing a void of spice and confections, 
and the Lord Mayor of London a standing cup of gold. 
Anne partook of the confections and gave the rest to 
the lords and ladies. She drank wine from the cup 
and presented it to the Lord Mayor. She made a 
gift of the canopy to the Barons of the Cinque Ports. 
The Justices of the King's Bench (who had lent their 
hall for the occasion) came forward and knelt to her 
as she prepared to leave. " I thank you all for the 
honour which you have done me," she said,* and then 
she departed. It was six p.m., and she had been nearly 
ten hours in the public view. It is little wonder that 
we find some rather curious details as to the means 
adopted to give her at times a certain amount of 
privacy ! Now she hastened to her room to change 
her apparel, and " so," says Wriothesley, " departed 
secreetlie by water to York Place, which is called White 

Even now not all the ceremonies in connection with 
the Coronation were over. On the next day, June 
2nd, there were jousts, at which it had been hoped 
that French knights would appear on one side. But, 
whether or not through the pique of Francis at the 
position in which Henry had placed him with regard 
to the Pope, they had not come, and instead two 
parties of eight English knights, led by Lord William 
Howard and Sir Nicholas Carew, Master of the Horse, 
engaged in a tourney, at which the horses for some 
reason showed little spirit, so that the entertain- 
ment was poor. After this the Court went down to 

* Account by Sir John Spelman or Spillman, June ist, 1533. 
(*' Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.,' J Vol. VI.) 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Greenwich, where for some days banquets and 
dances succeeded one another. There was no lack 
of gaiety. Writing to Lord Rochford in France, 
Sir Edward Baynton, one of Anne's chamberlains, 
tells him on June 9th : "As for pastime in the 
Queen's chamber, was never more. If any of you 
that be now departed have any ladies that they 
thought favoured you and would somewhat mourn 
at the parting of their servants, I can no whit perceive 
the same by the dancing and pastime they do use 

Rochford' s own wife, apparently, was not one 
of those who took part in the rejoicings over the 
new Queen, for we hear of her being committed to 
the Tower some time before this, to teach a lesson 
to those who were so bold as to express openly their 
disapprobation of the divorce of Katharine. Lady 
Rochford became, indeed, a deadly enemy to Anne 
and to her own husband. 

Another connection by marriage who showed her 
annoyance at Anne's elevation and her affection for 
the old Queen was the Duchess of Norfolk — not the 
Dowager, who was Anne's friend, but Elizabeth, a 
daughter of the former Duke of Buckingham, and 
wife of the former ally of the Boleyns, now himself 
scarcely a concealed foe. 

Chapuys, in his letter to the Emperor of June 16th, 
after summing up the events of Whitsuntide as "a 
cold, meagre and uncomfortable thing, to the great 
dissatisfaction, not only of the common folk, but also 
of the rest," asserts that " the indignation of every- 
body about this affair has increased by half since 
the Coronation." What evidence we have points to 

The Coronation Festivities 


this " indignation " being to a large extent fomented 
by the discontented section of the clergy ; a very 
large section, it must be admitted, and a section 
with a very legitimate grievance against the King 
and his advisers. Their methods, however, were 
scarcely in keeping with their calling. It was natural, 
perhaps, that Peto and Elston, from their safe retreat 
in Antwerp, should endeavour to stir up rebellion 
among their brother Observants in England. But 
the conduct r and the language, of some of the priests 
at home might certainly be described, in the Sixteenth 
Century phrase, as " going beyond the moon." 
Refusals to pray for the King and Queen were small 
matters in comparison with what they did outside 
their churches. 

For instance, we have the story that a certain 
priest, whose name appears as M Sir Rauf Wendon," 
did at King's Sutton, Warwickshire, about St. George's 
Day, declare that the Queen was a harlot, and that 
there was a prophecy that " a many should be burned 
at Smithfield, and he trusted it would be the end of 
Queen Anne."* The accusation was made by a 
fellow-priest, Thomas Gebons, and might possibly 
be explained as prompted by spite. But there can 
be no doubt about an incident which occurred a little 

* With this burning prediction compare the ravings of Mrs. Amadas, 
wife of Cromwell's predecessor as Master of the Jewels. (" Letters 
and Papers, Henry VIII.," July, 1533.) That lady, who confessed 
that for twenty years she had been " looking upon prophecies," ad- 
mitted to having said, among many foolish things, that, " if the Queen 
be not burnt within this half-year, I will be burnt myself."- It is 
perhaps of some significance that at this time Robert Amadas was 
charged with owing the King for plate lacking, while it was under his 
charge, over £1,771 — though this does not explain Mrs. Amadas's 
prophecy ! 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

later in the year. We read* that the Earl of Derby 
and Sir William Farington were sent down to Lanca- 
shire to investigate the report that " a lewde and 
noghty priest inhabytyng in these party es " had been 
indulging in " unfit tyng and sklaunderous sayings." 

An examination was held at Leigh on August ioth, 
when it was deposed by a number of witnesses that, 
on the reading of the proclamation of the previous 
month concerning Lady Katharine, Princess Dowager, 
the priest in question, "Sr. Jamys Harrison," said 
that he would take none for Queen but Queen 
Katharine ; and as for Nan Boleyn, " that noghty 
pake or hoore " — the witnesses were not certain of 
the word used — who the devil made her Queen ? 
The King himself should be no King but on his bear- 
ing (according to his behaviour). A few days later 
Harrison had observed that he would never take 
Nan Boleyn for Queen — be hanged for the same ! — 
but for Nan Boleyn. 

The slanderous Harrison was accordingly attached 
and sent up to London to be dealt with. 

The tale which follows does not concern any priestly 
slanderer, but it may be noted that the offender 
came from Antwerp, where the rebellious Observants 
were living. A certain John Coke, secretary to the 
Merchant Adventurers, writes to Cromwell from 
Barowe (Bergen-op-Zoom), on May 24th, that a 
naughty person of " Andwarp " had resorted to the 
town for the Easter market with images and pictures 
in cloth — painted canvases — to sell, " among the 

* Ellis, "Original Letters," ist Series, Vol. II., page 41. The King's 
Sutton affair appears in " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. VI., 
" Examination of Sir Thomas Gebons, priest." 

The Coronation Festivities 


which clothes he had a picture of our soveraigne 
Lord the Kyng (whom our Lorde preserve). And 
this day settyng up the same picture upon the Burse 
to sell, he pynned upon the body of the said picture 
a Wenche made in cloth, holdyng a paier of balance 
in her hands ; in th' one balance was fygured too 
hands togeder, and in th' other balance a fether, 
with a scripture over her head, saiyng that Love was 
lighter then a fether, whereat the Spanyards and 
other of the Duche nacion had greate pleasure in 
deri dying, jestyng and laughyng therat, and spekyng 
sondry opprobrious words agenst his moost noble 
Grace and moost gracious Quene his bedfelowe." 

By the agency of Coke this naughty person was 
brought up before the authorities of Bergen and 
warned that he must commit no suchlike thing upon 
pain of forfeiture of all his merchandise. 

Some time after Cromwell got another letter, from 
his friend Stephen Vaughan, enclosing " certeyn verses 
whiche the lewde and malycious studyents of Lovayn 
spitefully pricke upp upon Dores and Corners in 
Lovayn again the Kinge and Quene theyr Majests, 
whiche if yow will yowe may shew theyr Graces."* 

In such a pleasing way did the enemies of Henry 
and his new Queen, at home and abroad, show their 
disapproval of the marriage. Anne, however, may 
have been spared the degradation of hearing what 
was said and written about her ; for at the beginning 
of her short life upon the throne Henry, in expectation 
of legitimate male issue to carry on the succession, 
was anxious to shield her from outside annoyances. 

* These two letters are from Ellis, " Original Letters,"- 2nd Series, 
Vol. II., page 42, and 3rd Series, Vol. II., page 284. 




MANY people besides Henry and Anne were 
expecting anxiously the sequel to their long- 
drawn-out romance. In fact, it is not too much to 
say that the eyes, not only of England, but of Europe 
in general, were turned to watch what would happen 
to Anne the Queen, whether she would bring to Henry 
the fulfilment of his dearest ambition, a son to succeed 
him on the throne. If this should come about, it was 
felt that his triumph over his enemies was assured — 
unless, indeed, the Pope could be persuaded to proceed 
at once to declare that Katharine was still his wife 
and so render any son born to him by Anne illegitimate 
in the eyes of all good Churchmen. On June 28th, 
Chapuys was writing to the Emperor, impressing on 
him the necessity of a Papal sentence " before the 
Lady is brought to bed, since if a son is born the 
King will immediately get fealty sworn to him in 
Parliament as a prince." 

Henry was not blind to the possibility of Papal 
action, even at this late date ; and he took the pre- 
caution of summoning the Archbishop of York to 
Greenwich and registering before him on June 29th 
an appeal from the Pope to a future General Council 
of the Church, in case of a sentence of excommuni- 


The Birth of Elizabeth 


cation — a step which, as Roman Catholic historians 
have pointed out, he was not entitled to take. More- 
over, he had the Duke of Norfolk busy with his 
interests in France, where his instructions were to 
dissuade the King, if possible, from meeting Clement 
at all, or, if he could not do that, to accompany him 
to the meeting-place and influence him to prevent 
all action until the event should have happened which 
would enable Henry to snap his fingers at the Pope.* 
Norfolk was unable to get in personal touch with 
Francis until July ioth j but in the meantime, the 
conference with Clement had been for other reasons 
postponed ; and Francis told the English ambassador 
that he might be present at it when it came off. The 
place suggested was Nice, and the date early in 

This might seem to give Henry a respite ; but such 
was not really the case. The Imperial pressure on 
the Pope had at last proved beyond his power of 
resistance. On July nth His Holiness declared Cran- 
mer's proceedings null and pronounced sentence of 
the greater excommunication against Henry, giving 
him, however, six weeks within which to save himself 
by putting Anne away and taking back Katharine. 
Norfolk had been making his way slowly to the 
South of France, by the direction of the French King, 
and had reached Lyon when a courier arrived from 
Rome with the news. It is recorded that Norfolk 
nearly fainted when he heard it. He immediately 
sent off his nephew Rochford, to take the tidings to 

* Friedmann thinks that Cromwell was responsible for these certainly 
very difficult instructions to Norfolk, in order to keep him away from 
England and facilitate his own rise to the headship of affairs. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Henry before they could reach him by any other source, 
and to ask for further instructions. 

Anne had left Greenwich Palace for Windsor about 
the time that her brother arrived. The reason is 
given by Chapuys in the offensive behaviour of the 
Easterlings — the Hanseatic merchant princes. On the 
day of her state entry into London, he alleges, they 
had set up an Imperial eagle (bearing the arms of 
Aragon and Castile, among others) above the emblems 
of Henry and herself, about which she afterwards 
made daily complaint to the King. Worse still, 
towards the end of July, a fleet of their ships came and 
anchored in the Thames opposite Greenwich and, 
inviting Chapuys on board, made great festivities, 
with much firing of guns. Again Anne complained ; 
but Henry was loth to take measures against subjects 
of the Emperor at this juncture, and instead sent 
Anne away to Windsor. 

It is possible, therefore, that Anne knew nothing 
of her brother's coming to Greenwich on July 28th ; 
and on the 30th he was sent back to Norfolk at Lyon, 
with instructions that all possible means should be 
used to prevent the meeting between Francis and 

Norfolk succeeded in time in getting another 
interview with Francis, the exact purport of which 
is not clear. It was rumoured that the Pope had 
intimated to the French King that he would not see 
the English ambassador at their meeting. Anyhow, 
at the end of August Norfolk returned to England, 
and his post in France was filled by Bishop Gardiner. 
But Clement had already taken a still more decided 
step than before, and had issued a Bull in which he 

From the painting, alter Titian, in the Louvre. 

Francis I. 

[To face p. 188. 

The Birth of Elizabeth 


gave Henry only ten days to take back his former 
wife.* As far as Rome was concerned, Henry's cause 
seemed lost. 

Renewed attempts had been made to force Katharine 
to acknowledge what had been done without the 
consent of Rome ; but she never wavered. Early in 
July Lord Mount joy, who had been appointed by the 
King as her chamberlain, and other lords had a two 
days' struggle with her at Ampthill and entirely failed 
to get her to acknowledge herself as " Princess 
Dowager." She crossed out the words in a document 
given to her, and vigorously asserted that if she 
agreed that she had been " the King's harlot " for 
twenty-four years it would be a case of Maledictus 
homo qui negligit famam suam. In revenge, Henry 
moved her to Bugden (Buckden), Huntingdonshire, 
where the Bishop of Lincoln had a house. On her 
way thither she had a great popular reception. A 
similar manifestation had greeted a journey by her 
daughter the same month. Indeed, Chapuys asserts 
that in the villages through which she passed Mary 
had been received "as if she were God Himself de- 
scended from Heaven," whereat " the Lady was very 
much displeased and would much like to punish the 

According to Chapuys, also, Anne, being desirous 
to obtain for the benefit of her coming offspring a 
very rich triumphal cloth, which Katharine had 
brought with her from Spain to wrap up her children 
at baptism, persuaded the King to send a request 
for it to Katharine. But Katharine returned the 
answer that " it had not pleased God she should be 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," August 8th, 1533. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

so ill-advised as to grant any favour in a case so 
horrible and abominable ! "* 

About August 28th, Anne returned from Windsor 
to Greenwich, as her time was fast approaching. 
Writing six days later, the Imperial ambassador tells 
a story of which we have no confirmation elsewhere, 
but which we have no reason to doubt ; for, though 
Henry had displayed much solicitude that no outside 
influences should disturb Anne's peace, he was always 
in himself the same essential brute. That he had 
begun to be unfaithful is more than likely. He 
had had his way months previously, and Anne's 
charms had no longer the same spell over him. The 
story is this. The King, holding it certain from the 
reports of his physicians and astrologers that the 
Lady would bear him a son, determined to have great 
rejoicings over the event. He also took from his 
treasures a splendid bed, which was given originally 
for the ransom of a Duke of Alencon. 11 It was well 
for the Lady that this was delivered to her two months 
ago, for she would not get it now. Being full of 
jealousy, and not without cause, she used some words 
to the King at which he was displeased, telling her 
she must shut her eyes and endure it as well as more 
worthy persons than herself, and that she ought to 
know it was in his power in a moment to humble her 
again more than he had exalted her. . . . The King 
has been two or three days without speaking to her." 

No doubt such things were lovers' quarrels, com- 
ments the ambassador, to which too much importance 
must not be attached ; but many of those who knew 
the King's disposition looked on them as favourable 

* "Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Chapuys to the Emperor, 
July nth and 30th, 1533. 

The Birth of Elizabeth 


to a recall of Katharine. It is curious how this idea 
persisted with so many that Henry might take 
Katharine back. It shows how little they understood 
their Henry VIII. But it may be admitted that it 
was difficult to foresee that he would have the strength, 
or obstinacy, of will to carry to completion his flouting 
of the Pope's commands. Also the hidden influence 
of Cromwell was not appreciated j for there can 
scarcely be a doubt that already, in a comparatively 
unimportant post, he had acquired a sway over his 
sovereign which his fellows of the Council as yet little 

Cromwell's guidance, like Anne's, led Henry towards 
an absolute emancipation of the English Church from 
the authority of Rome ; and Cromwell's danger, to 
Rome, was none the less because he, unlike Anne, 
does not appear to have been actuated by any sincere 
sympathy with the Reformers. In this respect he 
was even worse than the Earl of Wiltshire. Both 
were set upon the advancement of their own interests, 
at whatever cost. But Wiltshire worked with the Re- 
formers because, as far as he had religious convictions, 
he agreed with their views ; and he at least gained the 
approval of Erasmus for his pious learning. Cromwell 
was willing to use or to burn Reformers, whichever 
suited his policy best ; but the priestly power was an 
obstacle to his ambition, which must be got rid of. 

A very curious paper survives, written by the hand 
of one of Cromwell's clerks, in which is set forth a 
" reason to clear the clergy for condescending to the 
King's second marriage and for abolishing the Pope's 
authority."* In this it is pointed out that " many 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. VI., page 332. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

of the inconstant commons are dissatisfied, and, 
though they forbear to speak at large, for fear of 
punishment, yet they mutter together secretly ; which 
muttering and secret grudge within this realm, I 
think, doth not a little embolden the King's enemies 
without the realm." As the muttering is not against 
the King (for everyone says that he is the most gentle 
and upright prince that ever reigned), but against some 
of the prelates and especially against the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, the writer advises that the latter should 
set out a little book, addressed to the clergy, to show 
that in the matter of the King's marriage he had 
acted not only according to God's law but for the 
wealth and quietness of the realm. Let him exhort 
his brethren that, if they go with him, they shall 
greatly merit by their obedience ; but if they do not 
he will compel them by the law of God, and then shall 
they lose the merit of their obedience. " I wot 
well that if it came to the hearing of the Pope and the 
Emperor that the whole clergy of England is fully 
bent to defend our sovereign lord the King, they will 
not meddle much further." 

Sunday, September 7th, saw the birth of the long- 
expected child. Between three and four in the after- 
noon of that day, at Greenwich Palace, the Queen 
was delivered of "a fair lady, for whom Te Deum 
was incontinently sung."* Chapuys described to his 
master the great regret of the King and the Lady, 
and " the great reproach of the physicians, astrologers, 

* Wriothesley says : " The morrowe after, being the daie of the 
Nativitie of our Ladie, Te Deum was songe solempnlie at Powles." 
The account above is mainly based on Hall's " Chronicle " and Har- 
leian MS. 543. (" Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. VI., page 464. 

The Birth of Elizabeth 


sorcerers and sorceresses, who had affirmed it would be 
a male child." 

No doubt, indeed, the arrival of Elizabeth was a 
severe blow to the royal hopes. But, at any rate, it 
proved Anne's fruitfulness and dispelled malicious 
rumours such as those contained in a sheet of news 
from Flanders on September ist, preserved in the 
Record Office, that " the new Queen is brought 
abed with a monster, or else that she bare is born dead." 
The infant was healthy, and destined to live, as none 
of Katharine's children had been save the Princess 
Mary. Henry disguised his disappointment as best 
he could, and the ceremonies of the christening went 
forward on the Wednesday following the birth. 

The church of the Friars Minors at Greenwich was 
hung with arras for the occasion, and in the middle 
stood a silver font, mounted on three steps, under a 
crimson satin canopy fringed with gold. Anne herself 
was not present, nor do we find mention of the King. 
The child was borne by the old Duchess of Norfolk, 
clad in a mantle of purple velvet, with a long train, 
held up by the Earls of Wiltshire and Derby and the 
Countess of Kent. On either side of the Duchess 
walked the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, and a 
canopy was supported by the Lords Rochford, Hussey, 
and William and Thomas Howard, while a train of 
ladies and gentlemen followed. Others in attendance 
were the Earl of Essex, carrying the covered gilt 
basons ; the Marquis of Exeter, bearing a taper of 
virgin wax ; the Marquis of Dorset, the salt j and the 
Lady Mary Howard, now affianced to the young Duke 
of Richmond, the chrisom of pearls and precious 


194 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

The Bishop of London, assisted by four abbots, 
met the child at the church-door and christened it 
with the name of Elizabeth, the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury being godfather and the Dowager Duchess of 
Norfolk and Marchioness of Dorset godmothers.* 
u This done, Garter with a loud voice bid God send 
her long life. The Archbishop of Canterbury then con- 
firmed her, the Marchioness of Exeter being godmother. 
Then the trumpets blew, and the gifts were given. . . . 
In going out the gifts were borne before the child 
to the Queen's chamber by Sir John Dudley, Lord 
Thomas Howard the younger, Lord Fitzwalter and 
the Earl of Worcester. One side was full of the 
Guard and King's servants holding five hundred staff- 
torches, and many other torches were borne beside 
the child by gentlemen." 

Wriothesley adds that " the morrowe after their 
was fiers made in London, and at every fire a vessell 
of wyne for people to drinke for the said solempnitie." 
Yet Chapuys tells the Emperor that Elizabeth's 
christening has been " like her mother's coronation, 
very cold and disagreeable both to the Court and to the 
City, and there has been no thought of having the 
bonfires and rejoicings usual in such cases." We 
would rather trust Wriothesley's account in this 
matter, though we may well believe that in festivities 
there was a good deal of malicious joy, on the part of 
Katharine's friends, that it was not a prince but a 
princess whose arrival was being celebrated. 

The Norfolk family, with the exception of the 

* The name was to have been Edward or Henry, in the event of a 
boy ; and King Francis would have been godfather. (Burnet, 
" History of the Reformation," Vol. III., page 161.) 

The Birth of Elizabeth 


younger Duchess, had been very prominently repre- 
sented at the christening of Elizabeth. But Anne 
was under no illusions as to the state of her uncle's 
feelings toward her, and only a few days later charged 
him with too great familiarity with the Imperial 
ambassador, her most obvious enemy. In conse- 
quence, Norfolk was obliged to avoid the company 
of Chapuys. He was, in fact, in sore trouble at the 
time, for his wife refused to see or speak to him, on 
account of his too patent infatuation with a young 
lady in Anne's suite, Elizabeth Holland. It took 
the intervention of Lord Abergavenny, brother-in-law 
of the Duchess, to effect a reconciliation, by promising 
that henceforth the Duke would be a good husband. 

After her christening the little Elizabeth was im- 
mediately proclaimed Princess of Wales, and her half- 
sister Mary was definitely deprived of the title. A 
message was sent to Mary by the King that she must 
forbear using the style of Princess ; whereon, with all 
her mother's pride, she answered that she had not the 
right to renounce the title and prerogatives which God, 
nature and her parents had given her. Chapuys 
imputes to " the importunity and malignity of the 
Lady " this new action against the Princess Mary ; 
but it was only the logical outcome of Henry's repudia- 
tion of his first marriage and decision to change the 

The Imperial representative, who, as we know from 
his own writings, was constantly communicating with 
Mary and egging her on to resistance to her father, 
went so far as to hint to Cromwell the possibility 
of the Emperor declaring war. Cromwell was not 
much impressed. He knew, by his reports from 


196 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Flanders, that there was talk of this, softened, however, 
by the suggestion that Charles would give two or three 
months' notice of his intention. He knew also that 
the Pope was still hesitating to make his sentence 
really effective. As late as September 27th Clement 
proposed in Consistory the prorogation for one month 
of the term for declaring the censures on the King 
of England. Neither Emperor nor Pope was ready 
to take an irremediable step. Clement, in particular, 
wished to delay matters until he should have had his 
interview with Francis. 

Henry also wished to see what would come of this 
interview before he proceeded any further. This 
seems the explanation of his prorogation of Parliament 
from November, 1533, to January, 1534. Among the 
measures which it was proposed to pass were three which 
would put too wide a gulf between England and Rome 
for French assistance to bridge, namely : (1) an Act 
to confirm the King's marriage with Anne and 
establish the succession ; (2) an Act that the realm 
should take the General Council of Christendom to be 
above the Pope, this to be concluded by both Convo- 
cations of Canterbury and York ; and (3) an Act 
whereby any persons obe3 7 ing the Pope's attempts for 
the marriage with Katharine should be adjudged 

Clement's meeting with Francis took place at 
Marseilles on October 12th, Bishop Gardiner being 
with the French Court as Henry's chief representative. 
It is clear that Henry was badly served by his agents, 
though it must be allowed that he appeared to expect 
impossibilities of them. It is true that the Pope 
agreed, without much difficulty, though against the 

The Birth of Elizabeth 


vigorous protests of the Imperial representatives, to 
grant yet another month's delay before making his 
censures on Henry effective. But when the Pope 
showed Gardiner a document agreeing to the hearing 
of the matrimonial cause at Avignon, in return for 
Henry's recognition of the Papal authority — a docu- 
ment seemingly drawn up at Henry's request — 
Gardiner simply replied that he was not armed with 
powers to bind his master. Then followed a letter, de- 
livered by Bonner, in which Henry protested against the 
injustice of the sentence of excommunication, as he 
was now legally married, and appealed to a future 
General Council, to be held in some impartial place. 
Clement angrily spoke to Francis about this, and 
urged him to abandon " the enemy of the Church." 
Francis replied that it was necessary to keep Henry 
as a friend that others might not have him. He made 
some severe comments, however, on his good brother's 
reputation for wisdom, and said he had advanced 
Katharine's cause by admitting that the Papal sentence 
had come to his notice.* 

Francis took the further step of sending du Bellay, 
Bishop of Paris, over to England about the middle of 
November, to tell Henry about the interview with 
the Pope, and to remonstrate with him on imputations 
which had reached his ears, to the effect that he had 
done less for Henry than their friendship required. 
(The English King, indeed, had been very rude to 
Dinteville, the retiring French ambassador, on their 
farewell interview on November 9th, to the great 
scandal of Norfolk and the Council in general ; but 

* Cifuentes to the Emperor, November gth, 1533. (" Letters and 
Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. VI., pages 561-2.) 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Francis can hardly have heard this yet.) In his 
message by the hands of du Bellay, Francis complained 
bitterly of the proceedings of the English agents at 
Marseilles, and requested that someone other than 
Gardiner should be sent out, as he was " not found 
possessed of good will." It is plain from a fragment 
of a letter from Gardiner and others to Henry that 
they had got on very badly with Francis at Marseilles.* 
In fact, relations between England and France were 
considerably strained, and although Anne, fearful 
of the loss of the French alliance, was very affable to 
du Bellay and even kissed him, the Bishop was stirred 
by Henry's querulous attitude to talk of the possibility 
of war ! This was on December 17th. Henry's wrath 
subsided somewhat at this threat, and he gave a 
promise that he would not carry out the separation 
from Rome, provided that within nine weeks he 
should be informed that the Pope would issue a new 
brief before Easter annulling the sentence of July 
nth, declaring the marriage with Katharine void, 
and confirming that with Anne — in fact, granting his 
whole case. Du Bellay returned to France at the 
end of the year, to lay this proposal before his 

A temporary truce was thus arranged. But this 
had not prevented distinctly hostile acts on both 
sides. On the church-door of St. Eligius, Dunkirk, 
an abstract of the sentence in the Papal Bull of August 
13th had been nailed up. In England the Privy 
Council had been forbidden to call Clement anything 
but the Bishop of Rome. Norfolk, indeed, called 
him some other, unmentionable names. His sudden 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. VI., pages 571-2. 

The Birth of Elizabeth 


anti-Papal violence is explained by Chapuys as forced 
upon him by his desire not to lose his remaining 
influence, "which apparently does not extend much 
further than Cromwell wishes ; for which reason, I 
understand, he is wonderfully sick of the Court." 



IT is difficult to estimate the exact state of Henry's 
feelings toward Anne at the period immediately 
following the birth of Elizabeth. She may have had 
cause for jealousy, as was suggested, before that event ; 
and the dashing of his hopes of a son and heir was 
not likely to make him more constant, though there 
was, of course, still the possibility of those hopes 
being fulfilled. Chapuys, who is never anxious to 
report anything favourable to Anne, wrote to the 
Emperor on November 3rd, 1533, that one of the 
Lady's own demoiselles had affirmed the King to be 
so obstinate in his intention that he had said several 
times he would sooner go begging from door to door 
than abandon the Lady. Apart from any question 
of love, however, Henry had a very strong motive 
to induce him not to abandon Anne — pride. Conscious 
of his own greatness and righteousness, he would 
not yield to the Pope, who had treated him with grave 
injustice. Let Clement repair that injustice, and then 
he would not proceed to schism. 

In the meantime, while France was forwarding his 
demand as the price of England remaining within the 
Church, and while there was still no decision as to the 
validity of the marriage with Katharine, Henry 
deemed it advisable to prepare for the chance that 


The Approach of Danger 201 

Rome would reject his terms and, by declaring Katha- 
rine his wife, make schism inevitable. If Clement 
should call on Charles to take action against him as 
an enemy of the Church, he must have allies among 
Charles's own subjects and among the Lutherans in 
general. Through the agency of Dr. Nicholas Heath, 
later Archbishop of York, and a German who went 
by the name of Christopher Mont, he approached the 
Lutheran princes of the Empire ; and through other 
envoys he sounded Denmark, Prussia and Poland. 

At home Henry waited for the meeting of Parlia- 
ment on January 15th before touching the remaining 
privileges of Rome. But he struck a blow at the 
adherents of the Papal cause — who were at the same 
time the friends of Katharine and the enemies of 
Anne — and endeavoured to make the blow include as 
many heads as possible. 

In November Henry had caused the arrest of a 
crazy woman, variously known as the Holy Maid, or 
the Mad Nun, of Kent, of whom we begin to hear 
towards the end of 1532. As Elizabeth Barton 
abounded in " revelations," such as that he would not 
only lose his kingdom, but would also be damned, 
and she had seen a place prepared for him in Hell, 
it is not to be wondered at that Henry was annoyed. 
She had even visited him to tell him about her revela- 
tions, and it is rather astonishing that he had not 
put her into custody before. Now he tried to implicate 
with her all he could of those of whom it would suit 
him to get rid. No connection could be discovered 
between Elizabeth Barton and Katharine, the ex- 
Queen having always refused to see her. But the 
Bishop of Rochester (who had only been released from 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

confinement in the previous September), Sir Thomas 
More, the Marchioness of Exeter, the Countesses of 
Salisbury and Derby, and great numbers of lesser 
people were found to have had communications with 
her, which gave a pretext for examination into their 

Undoubtedly there were many dupes of the Mad Nun, 
against whom a certain amount of severity was 
justifiable. Chapuys tells of the erection of a high 
scaffold in St. Paul's Cathedral, on which on November 
23rd the Nun and some of her priestly associates had 
to sit while the Bishop elect of Bangor (John Salcott) 
preached a sermon against them. This was to be 
repeated on the two following Sundays, after which 
similar steps were to be taken in other towns, so as to 
dissipate the popular impression of the Nun's sanctity. 
It might be a painful ordeal ; but, seeing the nature 
of her " revelations," her followers, who were not 
supposed to be uneducated men, had scarcely the 
right to complain. Unhappily there was much worse 
to follow. 

While making use of the Mad Nun's case to put 
under observation many of Katharine's friends, Henry 
continued the policy against the Princess Mary which 
Chapuys would impute to Anne's instigation. He 
took from her her home at Beaulieu, which he presented 
to Lord Rochford, and sent her to Hertford Castle. 
There he intimated to her that she must prepare to 
go to Hatfield, where an establishment was being 
prepared for the baby Elizabeth, who was now, at 
the age of three months, removed from Anne's care. 
Mary, guided by Chapuys, registered a protest, which 
was naturally unavailing. In December she was 

The Approach of Danger 203 

carried off to Hatfield, to make her court to the 
Bastard, as the ambassador gracefully puts it. She 
made another protest, to the Duke of Suffolk, saying 
that the daughter of Lady Pembroke had no right to 
the title of Princess, by which she was bidden to call 
her. As the King acknowledged the child, however, 
she would call her " sister," in the same way as she 
called the Duke of Richmond " brother." 

From Hatfield the Duke of Suffolk was dispatched 
to Buckden, to see Mary's mother and inform her that 
the King contemplated removing her to Somersham, 
unless she fell in with his wishes and ceased her claims. 
Suffolk and his companions found Katharine inflex- 
ible. " She will not remove to Somersham, against 
all humanity and reason," they wrote to Henry on 
December 19th, " unless we were to bind her with 
ropes." To Norfolk on the same day they wrote de- 
scribing her as " the most obstinate woman that may 
be." As a punishment, most of her household (in- 
cluding her English confessor, Thomas Abel, who was 
sent to the Tower) were taken away from her, on the 
pretext that they would not swear the proper oath of 
allegiance to the King ; and the royal commissioners 
would have taken her chambermaids too, had she not 
vowed to sleep in her clothes if they did. A threat 
to move her to Fotheringay was answered by Katharine 
locking herself in her bedroom and challenging them 
to break down the door. Beaten, they retired and left 
Buckden. They dared not risk such an affront to 
popular sympathies as moving her by force. 

A story is told of Katharine at Buckden, which, if 
true, probably belongs to the period before the removal 
of the bulk of her household. It is said that one of her 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

gentlewomen began to curse Anne Boleyn, whereon 
Katharine " dried her streaming eyes and said 
earnestly, * Hold your peace ! Curse not — curse her 
not, but rather pray for her ; for even now is the time 
fast coming when you shall have reason to pity her 
and lament her case ! ' " The tale, recorded by Dr. 
Nicholas Harpsfield, has rather the air of being invented 
after Anne's tragic death. 

Henry's line of conduct toward his first wife and 
daughter was so detestable that it tends to blind us 
to the fact that his victims were guilty of some very 
doubtful transactions with the enemies of the head 
of the State, whom the majority of his subjects showed 
no desire to get rid of. Chapuys, who abused his am- 
bassadorial position to discuss with the malcontents 
the possibilities of risings in England and the substi- 
tution of Reginald Pole for Henry on the throne, who 
encouraged his master to think of invading England, 
of aiding the Irish rebels with money and arms, and 
of concerting action with Scotland, was the unceasing 
inspirer of Katharine and Mary to defy Henry's 
commands. They were certainly justified in refusing 
to recognize the King's right to repudiate them. But 
to have dealings with conspirators aiming to attack 
England from outside was something more than a 
maintenance of their rights as wife and daughter. 
We only know of their dabbling with treason through 
the confessions of their own chief friend. Cromwell, 
in spite of the activities of his spies, did not succeed 
in tracking the plot. In October, 1533, indeed, he 
got intelligence of two Observant Friars, on a mission 
from Peto in Flanders, who had gone to Buckden, 
and whom he caused to be arrested and racked. 

The Approach of Danger 205 

Apparently, however, no political discovery was made 
through them. Probably Katharine was half-hearted 
in her connection with actual treachery, though she 
was firm in her requests to her Imperial nephew to 
right her wrongs, which, unless Henry gave way, 
could only be done by invasion of England. 

The fateful year 1534 now opened. Early in 
January Henry paid a visit to Hatfield to see his 
infant daughter. Under Anne's influence, Chapuys 
says, he would not see Mary, sending instead Cromwell 
to urge her once more to the renunciation of the title 
of Princess. Mary's reply was that such a mission was 
labour wasted, and that bad treatment and even the 
chance of death would not alter her determination. 
As Henry was mounting his horse to leave Hatfield, 
however, he caught sight of his obstinate elder daughter 
on a terrace at the top of the house. She went down 
on her knees, whereupon he saluted her, all his suite 
following his example. Henry rode away without 
speech to her ; but his half-relenting conduct had not 
failed to make a considerable impression. Parental 
affection, of a kind, was the least unamiable trait in 
this tyrant's character. 

Anne, on hearing of Mary's " prudent replies " to 
Cromwell, is alleged by Chapuys to have complained 
to her husband that he did not keep the girl close 
enough and that she must be getting bad advice, as 
her answers could not have been made without sug- 
gestion from others. Henry gave a promise that no 
one should speak to her without his knowledge ; but he 
singularly failed to prevent the constant communica- 
tions between her and Chapuys. Nor did he hinder 
the Imperial representative from getting regular 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

information about Katharine at Buckden, who was 
now refusing to eat or drink anything that her new 
servants provided for her. Chapuys looked on it as 
very sinister that Henry should remark to Castillon, 
successor to Dinteville as French ambassador, that 
Katharine could not live long, being dropsical. 

Poison was evidently very much in the mind of 
Chapuys. He actually wrote to the Emperor that " a 
gentleman told him that the Earl of Northumberland 
— of all persons ! — " told him that he knew for certain 
that she had determined to poison the Princess." And 
another gentleman told him that Queen Anne had 
sent to her aunt, Anne, wife of vSir John Shelton, Mary's 
steward of the household, and herself governess in 
charge of Mary, not to allow her to use the title of 
Princess, but to box her ears as a cursed bastard if 
she did, and to insist on her having the food provided 
for her instead of in her own chamber. At the same 
time Chapuys tells, on the authority of Castillon, that 
Anne showed much more grief over the death of Dr. 
Nicholas Hawkins than the King showed, and wept 
bitterly, saying that an apothecary must have given 
him some medicine that had caused his death. 

The postponed assembly of Parliament took place 
on January 15th, and both King and Queen were 
busily employed, canvassing the members to vote 
for the measures which were being introduced. Henry 
also took the precaution to countermand the attendance 
of those in the Upper House whom he knew to be 
definitely hostile, such as the Archbishop of York, the 
Bishops of Rochester and Durham, and that fervent 
supporter of Katharine, Lord Darcy. 

Henry had now all his preparations made to " give 

The Approach of Danger 207 

such a buffet to the Pope as he never had before."* 
He was full of confidence, for Anne believed herself 
pregnant again, and once more he was dreaming of 
a son to succeed him. Indeed, he spoke of it openly 
as a probable near event. In the circumstances he 
did not particularly concern himself as to what the 
Pope would do. At least, that was the impression 
which he gave. The French had evolved a scheme 
for terrifying Clement into consenting to a tribunal 
sitting at Cambrai to judge the matrimonial cause, it 
being understood that the Cardinals appointed would 
give a verdict in Henry's favour, if he in return would 
submit to Papal authority in England again. Henry 
did not feel confident about this scheme, and went 
on with his Parliamentary campaign. 

In spite of the countermanding of undesirable 
members, however, and the strong pressure put upon 
the others, Parliament did not prove as docile as had 
been hoped. The Bill settling a dowry on Katharine 
as Princess Dowager of Wales passed the Lords, but 
was held up in the Commons. The Bill of Attainder 
against Elizabeth Barton and her associates, or alleged 
associates, met with strong opposition. The inclusion 
of Sir Thomas More's name in it proved a grave 
mistake, for the ex-Chancellor was easily able to 
exculpate himself " in the matter of this wicked woman 
of Canterbury," as he called her himself in a letter to 
the King. For a moment a halt was called, and the 
Bill of Attainder was hung up. 

Perhaps the difficulties of the situation induced 

* The expression is from a draft document, corrected by the hand of 
Cromwell, in which the King promises the total abolition of the Pope's 
authority. (" Letters and Papers, Henry VIII. ,' ! Vol. VI., page 603.) 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Anne to make an attempt, which we do not hear of 
her making before, to come to terms with the Princess 
Mary. We give the story in the words of Chapuys, 
writing on March 7th : 

" When the King's amye went lately to see her 
daughter, she urgently solicited the Princess to visit 
her and honour her as Queen, saying that it would be 
a means of reconciliation with the King, and she 
herself would intercede with him for her, and she would 
be as well or better treated than ever. The Princess 
replied that she knew no Queen in England except 
her mother, and that if the said amye (whom she called 
Madame Anne de Boulans) would do her that favour 
with her father she would be much obliged. The 
Lady repeated her remonstrances and offers, and in 
the end threatened her, but could not move the 
Princess. She was very indignant, and meant to 
bring down the pride of this unbridled Spanish blood, 
she said." 

Anne's apparently well-meaning overture to her 
stepdaughter had therefore failed, and had only the 
effect on herself of leaving her still more bitter against 
the girl. 

About the same time as this affair, news came from 
Rome, through France, of what seemed a favourable 
nature. Du Bellay had arrived in Rome on Feb- 
ruary 2nd, and at once set to work to carry out his 
promise to Henry. He put the scheme for the Cambrai 
tribunal before the Pope, vigorously urging on him 
the danger of losing England altogether. Clement 
listened to the scheme and begged for time to consider 

From the painting by an unknown artist in the National Portrait Gallery, 

Mary Tudor, Daughter of Henry VIII. 

[To face p. 208. 

The Approach of Danger 209 

it, which du Bellay interpreted as a sign of coming 
victory for French over Imperial diplomacy. He 
hurried the tidings to France, and on March 2nd 
Castillon communicated them to Henry. The King 
wavered ; but Cromwell's influence was all against 
a reconciliation with Rome, which promised ruin 
for himself and all concerned in the anti-Papal policy. 
It cannot be imagined that he cared what would become 
of Anne, with whom his sympathy was limited to the 
fact that they both wished to get rid of the last traces 
of Roman authority ; but he cared very much whether 
he " made or marred." His friends on the Council 
were also bent on saving themselves, and even Norfolk, 
as we have seen, had committed himself recently to 
the policy of opposition to the Pope. 

In consequence, Castillon was unable to extract 
from Henry anything beyond a promise not to break 
absolutely with Rome before Easter, which fell on 
April 5th. But not all the measures in Parliament 
were held back. On March 12th the Bill of Attainder 
against those alleged to be implicated with Elizabeth 
Barton was accepted by the Lords, after the removal 
of Sir Thomas More's name from the list, and four 
days later a Bill was passed in the Commons forbidding 
the payment of " Peter's pence." 

The proceedings in Rome and London in early 
1534 have all the appearance of a game of bluff, each 
side hoping to frighten the other into acknowledging 
defeat. By a strange coincidence, both declared them- 
selves on the self-same day, in such a fashion as to 
destroy all chance of compromise. In Rome, Consis- 
tory began its final consideration of Henry's first 
marriage on February 27th. On March 23rd, while 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

the eight French Cardinals absented themselves, the 
remainder of Consistory voted unanimously for the 
validity of the marriage. The Imperialists had won, 
and du Bellay retired from Rome in dismay. In 
London a Bill ratifying Henry's marriage with Anne 
and settling the succession on their issue came before 
the Lords on March 20th, and on the 23rd it was read 
for the third time and passed. 

It was not until April 4th that Francis's special 
ambassador, Giles de la Pommeraye, reached England 
with news of the decision of Consistory ; and by 
that time Henry had consolidated his gains in Parlia- 
ment, the chief of which was the Act of Succession. 
After the signatures of all members had been obtained 
to this, Parliament was prorogued on March 30th, 
and a proclamation was issued, calling attention to 
the new Act, threatening with the penalties of prae- 
munire anyone doing anything in derogation of it, 
and prescribing that all subjects of the King should 
take an oath to observe it. Cromwell, who had played 
a great part in securing the King's victory, was 
rewarded with the post of Chief Secretary at the 
beginning of April. 

When Pommeraye reached the English Court with 
his news, he was received by Henry so calmly that 
one is inclined to suspect that the King had already 
got wind of it. Friedmann suggests that he had an 
idea that Francis had played him false, for the mere 
abstention of the French Cardinals from voting was 
not a very marked proof of their convictions against 
the validity of the marriage. Henry made no display 
of anger, but decided to send Rochford and Sir William 
Fitzwilliam on a mission to Francis and his sister, 

The Approach of Danger 211 

the Queen of Navarre. They were to urge Francis 
to declare himself against the Pope, adopting similar 
legislation against his supremacy to that which had 
been passed in England ; and to endeavour to arrange 
a meeting between the two Kings in the near future. 
They were to see the Queen of Navarre, so as to make 
sure of a suitable reception for Anne when she accom- 
panied her husband. 

The envoys met Francis on April 21st and found him 
quite willing to meet Henry. He did not see the 
necessity of anti-Papal legislation in France, however ; 
and he not unreasonably asked what measure of 
financial support he might expect from England, 
supposing that the Emperor should attack him as 
Henry's ally. Rochford and Fitzwilliam returned to 
England, and were followed by de la Guiche to make 
arrangements for the royal meeting. 

While his mission was in France, Henry was pressing 
forward with his new powers at home. The Act of 
Attainder was carried into effect, and Wriothesley 
describes how on April 20th " the Holy Maid of Kent/' 
two monks of Canterbury, two Friars Observants, 
and a priest were drawn from the Tower to Tyburn, 
hanged and beheaded, their heads being set up, two 
on the Tower and four at divers gates of the City. 
(Burnet, in his " History of the Reformation," says 
that the Nun confessed that she " most justly deserved 
her death," and that Anne interceded for some of her 
misguided followers.) On the same day all the crafts 
in London were sworn on a book " to be true to Queen 
Anne and utterly to think the Ladie Marie but a 
bastard." All the priests and curates throughout 
London and England were sworn — that is, they were 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

asked to swear — before the Archbishop of Canterbury 
and other bishops ; and the laity were sworn, in the 
shires and towns where they lived. 

The demand for obedience to the Royal Proclama- 
tion, however, revealed the strength of the opposition. 
The two most notable refusals to take the oaths came 
from Sir Thomas More and Fisher, Bishop of Rochester. 
Both were willing, indeed, to swear to the Act of 
Succession, but not to the preamble. Fisher was 
already in custody, on a charge of not having revealed 
to the King what the Mad Nun had told him, which 
was not really much different from what she had 
told to Henry himself. Now he and More were 
committed to the Tower. Cranmer suggested that 
their readiness to swear to the Act was sufficient ; 
but Cromwell replied that the King could not agree 
to this, as the rejection of the preamble might be 
taken as a confirmation of the Bishop of Rome's 
authority and the reprobation of the King's authority. 
So More and Fisher languished in the Tower. 

This allusion by Cromwell, or by Henry, to the 
Bishop of Rome suggests a story which is to be found 
among the State Papers,* showing plainly the connec- 
tion in the popular mind between Anne Boleyn and 
the repudiation of the Pope. On Saturday, May 2nd, 

1534, a certain serving-man, Henry Kylbie, came with 
his employer, Master Pachett, homewards from Lon- 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. VII., page 289 : Ex- 
amination of Henry Kylbie. For another example of popular senti- 
ment, see the accusation against Margaret Ellys, February nth, 

1535, that she called Queen Anne " a goggyll (e)yed " (which may 

be regarded, perhaps, as a testimony to the black and beautiful eyes 
we have heard of), " and said, God save Queen Katharine, and she 
trusted to see her Queen again." (Ib., Vol. VIII.) 

The Approach of Danger 213 

don to Leicester, and stopped at the " White Horse," 
Cambridge. As he was dressing his master's horse 
there on Monday, he got talking with the ostler, who 
told him that there was no Pope, but only a Bishop 
of Rome. Kylbie replied that there was a Pope, and 
that whoever held the contrary was a strong heretic. 
The King's Grace was on his side, said the ostler. 
" Then are both you an heretic and the King another," 
retorted Kylbie, adding that this business would never 
have been if the King had not married Anne Boleyn. 
" Therewithal they multiplyed wordes and wexed 
so whotte in theire communication that the one called 
the other knave, and so fell togither by the eares " 
— and Kylbie " brake the hosteler's hed with a fagotte 
styke ! " The sequel is not revealed. 

It is noteworthy that in this very month of May, 
when Henry's " heresy " was being attributed by 
one of his humble subjects to the influence of his 
new wife, Anne is found writing to " our trustie and 
right welbeloved Thomas Crumwell squyer, Chief 
Secretary unto my Lorde the Kings Highnes," telling 
him that a certain Richard Herman, merchant of 
Antwerp, had in the late Cardinal's time been expelled 
from his freedom and fellowship in the English house 
there M for nothing ells (as he affermethe) but oonly 
for that he did bothe with his gooddis and policie, 
to his greate hurte and hynderans in this Worlde, 
helpe to the settyng forthe of the Newe Testamente 
in Englisshe." With all speed and favour convenient, 
Cromwell was to " cause this good and honeste mar- 
chaunt ... to be restored to his pristine fredome, 
libertie and felowshipe aforesaid " (Letter from Green- 
wich, May 14th, 1534). 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Among those called upon to take the new oath 
were the ex-Queen Katharine and what remained 
of her household. There were sent down to Buckden 
to exact it the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of 
Durham, and the Bishop of Chester (the last named 
being Rowland Lee, the cleric described by Stephen 
Vaughan to Cromwell as " an earthly beast ") ; * but 
they entirely failed in their task as far as Katharine 
was concerned, and only succeeded to a certain 
extent with the household. Katharine told them 
that " Queen she was, and Queen she would die." 
Chapuys was very much afraid that she would suffer 
for her courage. He writes to her nephew on May 
29th : 

" Everybody fears some ill turn will be done to the 
Queen, seeing the rudeness and strange treatment 
to which she is daily subjected, both in deeds and in 
words ; especially as the Concubine has said she 
will not cease until she has got rid of her, and since, 
according to certain prophecies, one Queen of England 
is to be burned, she wishes it to be Katharine, to avoid 
the lot falling upon herself." 

Previously the ambassador had complained to 
the Emperor of fresh acts of severity against the 
Princess Mary, such as the taking away by Norfolk 
of all her jewellery, as a punishment for her refusal 
to pay her respects to Anne ; and her forcible bundling 
into a litter with Lady Shelton, to follow in the train 
of the Princess Elizabeth on a journey. Mary on 

* Letter of November 1st, 1534. More fully, " an erthely beste, 
a molle (? mole), and an enemy to all godly lernynge ... a papiste, 
an Idolater, and a flesshely preste." Invective was assuredly a wide- 
spread gift in Tudor times ! 

The Approach of Danger 215 

the latter occasion made another of her public pro- 
tests, which Chapuys thought unwise. 

Charles was stung by his representative's reports 
into making a remonstrance to the English ambassa- 
dor at his Court, which brought him a long letter of 
pained surprise from Henry, who pointed out that 
he was really treating Katharine and Mary very 
well, and that Katharine was within extreme danger 
of the law if he chose to show rigour. Whatever 
the Emperor thought of this, he held his hand. But 
Chapuys continued to ply him with tales of the 
sad plight of his aunt and cousin. One of the 
grievances was the removal of Katharine from 
Buckden to Kimbolton Castle, in the same county 
of Huntingdon, but said to be more unhealthy. 
Katharine herself suspected that this was part of a 
design, and took even greater precautions against 
poisoning now, declaring that they were trying to 
give her " artificial dropsy." She had no doubt 
heard from Chapuys of the King's remark about her 
being dropsical and likely to die soon. 

While able to devote a certain amount of attention 
to his complicated domestic affairs, Henry was most 
concerned with the future policy of Francis. When 
Rochford and Fitzwilliam returned to England early 
in May, he and Anne dined in public ; and after dinner 
he remarked that he was bound to give thanks to 
God for having so entirely conciliated to him such 
a good brother and friend as the King of France. 
According to Chapuys, this public announcement had 
the effect of making many suspect that Francis 
was " beginning to halt," especially as there was a 
talk of postponing the interview. Henry, however, 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

did not wish for too long a delay, and when de la 
Guiche arrived suggested a date in August. 

A difficulty arose. Anne was, or believed herself 
to be, with child, and if she were would probably 
not be able to accompany the King to France. 
Chapuys has one of his usual pieces of scandal, on the 
authority of "a person of good faith," which he 
sends to the Emperor on June 23rd. This is to 
the effect that " the King's concubine has said more 
than once, and with great assurance, that when the 
King has crossed the sea and she remains gouvernante, 
as she will be, she will use her authority and put 
the Princess [Mary] to death, either by hunger, or 
otherwise. On Rochford, her brother, telling her 
that this would anger the King, she said that she did 
not care even if she were burnt alive for it after." 

Some later writers have taken this story for gospel 
truth — always ready to accept any statement un- 
favourable to Anne — and have represented that Henry 
was afraid to go to France without Anne, for fear 
she should make away with Mary in his absence. 
It is certainly true that Henry did put off his trip 
to France because he was unwilling to leave Anne. 
But there were two sufficient reasons for that, without 
inventing for him apprehension of his elder daughter's 
murder. Firstly, he was again hoping for the birth 
of a son, and probably had a slight renewal of his 
affection for Anne in consequence ; and, secondly, 
he was anxious to bring about that meeting with 
the Queen of Navarre which he had failed to procure 
while Anne was only Marchioness of Pembroke. 

Lord Rochford was again the ambassador chosen 
to go to France, in spite of his enemies' allegations 

The Approach of Danger 217 

of his incompetence. His instructions were issued 
on July 7th, and two days later he was off post haste. 
Other matters were included in the instructions j 
but, with regard to Queen Anne, her brother was to 
say that, while she was anxious to meet the Queen 
of Navarre, she wished the interview to be deferred, 
being so far gone with child that she could not cross 
the sea with the King, of whose presence, on the 
other hand, she did not want to be deprived when 
it was most necessary to her. Could the interview 
be postponed until the following April ? Rochford 
was to represent to Francis that the Queen, " with 
much suit " only, had got leave for him to proceed 
to France in the King's place — " the said Lord 
Rochford," the instructions add, " even so tempering 
his communication with the French King in this 
matter as he smell not the King's Highness to be 
overmuch desirous of it, but all in the Queen's name." 

The day on which Rochford set out upon his mission 
was one marked by a very extraordinary occurrence. 
William, Lord Dacre of the North, was Warden of 
the Western Marches, sharing with the Earl of North- 
umberland the task of guarding the Scottish frontier. 
He was brother-in-law to the Countess of Northumber- 
land ; but she, as we know, was a bitter foe to her 
husband. Moreover, Dacre was a strong Roman 
Catholic, and the Earl was not. There was no love 
lost between them, and at last an accusation was 
brought against Dacre of treason and seeking the 
destruction of his fellow-warden. He was brought 
South, and on July 9th was arraigned at Westminster, 
the case being presided over by the Duke of Norfolk 
as High Steward. M The Lady," writes Chapuys, 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

" used her influence against him, because he had 
always maintained the cause of the Queen and Princess. 
Nevertheless, he defended his case so well for seven 
hours that he was unanimously declared innocent by 
twenty-four lords and acquitted by twelve judges ; 
which is one of the most novel things that have 
been heard of for a hundred years, for no one ever 
knew a man come to the point he had done and escape. 
And there was never seen for one day such universal 
joy shown in the City as there was at his liberation." 

It is true that Dacre was the one man against whom 
a charge of treason was brought, in the King's name, 
during the reign of Henry VIIL, who was not con- 
demned — a fact useful to remember when we come 
to the trial of Anne Boleyn. 

During the summer Henry and Anne went on 
another of their progresses in the Midlands, and 
we do not hear much of them until nearly the end 
of September. Chapuys is mostly interested in the 
affairs of Katharine and Mary, who were clearly 
becoming a rallying-point for the loyalties of all 
those who found the King's new policy intolerable. 
Mary was in particular the danger, as Henry, Anne 
and Cromwell alike were aware. Anne's hatred is 
easily explained by this, which threatened the 
prospects of Elizabeth and any subsequent child she 
might bear. Cromwell had no dislike of Mary, 
whom he looked on as an useful pawn in the diplo- 
matic game, for which reason he had not been in favour 
of her being declared illegitimate. As for Henry, 
his conduct towards her continued to show alternate 
conciliation and severity. In July he made yet 
another attempt, through Lord Wiltshire and Sir 

The Approach of Danger 219 

William Paulet, to induce her to renounce her title, 
with a promise of better treatment if she did so. 
Advised by Chapuys, she refused. Towards the 
end of August, however, when an order was sent 
to Mary to accompany the Princess Elizabeth to 
Greenwich, his advice was that she should consent. 
Accordingly she agreed, upon the understanding that 
she should not be compelled to go out after her sister. 
Paulet promised this ; but when Mary came to the 
door of the lodging, there was " the litter of the 
Bastard " — the words, of course, are those of Chapuys 
— which she had to follow. Mary got her own back, 
however, for on the journey she pushed ahead on 
horseback and reached Greenwich an hour before 
Elizabeth. She also secured the most honourable 
seat on the barge which was to take them to the 

Nevertheless, when next month Henry heard that 
Mary, now at Hunsdon, was lying ill, he hastened 
to send Dr. Butts to her, and even gave Katharine 
permission to visit her, unfortunately adding conditions 
which would not allow the poor ex-Queen to accept. 

Henry showed no more consistency toward Anne 
than toward Mary. After having been unwilling 
to leave her for his journey to France and keeping 
her by him during the summer, by the end of Septem- 
ber he had grown cold again. The general explana- 
tion at Court was that Anne had discovered she was 
not pregnant after all. Disgusted with his shattered 
hope of a son, Henry " renewed the love he formerly 
had for a very beautiful lady of the Court " — by 
whom Chapuys seems to mean the unknown lady 
to whom the King's attention had turned before 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Elizabeth's birth. When Anne would have had her 
banished, Henry grew angry, telling her that " she 
had good reason to be content with what he had done 
for her, which he would not do now if they were 
to begin again," that she should consider from what 
she had come, and several other things, to which, 
however, Chapuys thinks it well not to attach too 
much importance, " considering the King's change- 
able character and the craft of the Lady, who knows 
well how to manage him." 

A fortnight later, on October 13th, the ambassador 
reports the banishment from Court, not of the new 
favourite, but of Lord Rochford's wife, for conspir- 
ing with " the Concubine " to get the other withdrawn. 
This is curious news, for Lady Rochford had pre- 
viously been in trouble, as we know, for expressing 
too openly her sympathy with Katharine ! More- 
over, she appears later as Anne's virulent opponent 
and the traducer of her own husband on her account. 

With the defeat of the attempt to get rid of her, 
the young lady's influence increases daily while that 
of Anne decreases, and Chapuys sees good hope that, 
if the King's love affair continues, the interests of 
Katharine and Mary will prosper, for the young 
lady is greatly attached to them. In fact," she 
has lately sent to the Princess [Mary], telling her 
to be of good cheer and that her troubles will end 
sooner than she supposes, and when the opportunity 
comes she will show herself her true and devoted 

Although Chapuys does not say so, it is evident 
that the (to us) unknown favourite was an adherent 
of the old Roman Catholic noble party, who hoped 

The Approach of Danger 221 

to influence the King through her as the Reformers 
had influenced him through Anne Boleyn. The am- 
bassador gives an illuminating glimpse into the state 
of disaffection of the old families and their sym- 
pathizers. At the end of September he had two 
important communications, with Lord Hussey, Mary's 
chamberlain, and, on Hussey's introduction, with 
Lord Darcy. The former urged that the Emperor 
should now intervene to right Katharine and Mary. 
The latter, though declaring himself one of the 
most loyal vassals the King had in matters not in- 
juring his conscience, said that, as it was proposed 
in this Parliament to bring in the Lutheran sect, 
he and his adherents would do their best to animate 
the people against it, and with the Emperor's assist- 
ance would raise the banner of the Crucifix beside 
his ; and among the first things he would do would 
be to seize some lords who favoured these follies, 
such as the Earl of Northumberland. Darcy claimed 
that 1,600 great lords and gentlemen in the North 
were of his opinion, and that he could put into the 
field 8,000 men of his own and his friends'. Among 
his friends, by the way, was the Lord Dacre, lately 
so triumphantly acquitted of treason, against the 
influence of the King and Queen. 

The ambassador is certainly a priceless chronicler 
of the secret history of the day, provided that we 
make due allowance for the bias of his mind and 
the temptation which he was unavoidably under 
to tell the Emperor what he wanted to be told, rather 
than the bare truth ; for we cannot agree with some 
of the historians that Chapuys never departed from 
the truth. He was a man of insight, but also of 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

much prejudice. We may perhaps accept as vera- 
cious the details of an interview which he had some- 
time in October with Cromwell, just appointed to the 
Mastership of the Rolls in addition to his Chief Secre- 
taryship. His visit was under pretext of other things ; 
but he brought the conversation round to the subject 
of the Princess Mary, and conjured Cromwell, by 
the affection he had formerly professed for her, to 
do what he could to save her from M the torment of 
following the Bastard " or renouncing her own title 
and legitimacy. Efforts to this end would not achieve 
the King's purpose, he declared, but might make 
her very seriously ill. The Secretary assured him 
that Henry would be very sorry both for the loss 
of such a pearl and for the opinion of the world, and 
insisted that, though he had taken certain measures 
with her for resisting his will, he was at heart un- 
changed in his affection for her. Indeed, to show 
Chapuys a little further into the mystery, said Crom- 
well, he would let him know what was not known 
to everyone, namely that " not only a hundred for 
one, but without comparison, the King loved the 
Princess Mary more than the last-born, and he would 
not be long in giving evidence of it to the world." 

Chapuys was inclined to believe what Cromwell 
told him, and says that he sent word to Mary, then 
with Elizabeth at The More, that, as the King's 
severity was abating, she should take care not to 
give him any cause of offence, and, so far from re- 
fusing to "follow the Bastard," should declare 
that she was very glad in this to satisfy the King her 
father. On October 21st she came to Richmond 
in the company of Elizabeth. The next day Queen 

The Approach of Danger 223 

Anne, accompanied by the Dukes of Norfolk and 
Suffolk and many others, ladies and gentlemen, 
paid a visit to Richmond to visit la petite garce — 
Chapuys uses a milder term this time for the poor 
baby — when Mary shut herself up in her chamber 
until her stepmother had gone. Moreover, Anne's 
retinue, including a number of ladies, came to pay 
their respects to her there. No punishment befell 
her ; and if it were not for the fact that the King 
was of an amiable and cordial nature (!), and that 
the new mistress had already busied herself on Mary's 
behalf, Chapuys would have been inclined to think 
the King's favour to his daughter a dissimulation, 
to conceal the guilt of any ill that might overtake 



IT was in 'a very perilous position that Anne 
found herself in the last quarter of 1534. The 
King's passion for her had brought him to the point 
of sacrificing his first wife, his connection with the 
Church of Rome, and the esteem of vast numbers 
of his subjects, not to mention the respect of most 
of Europe, for her sake. But she had given him 
no son, and he was no longer in love with her. There 
was no friend upon whom she could rely at home, 
for those who admired her for her Reforming zeal 
were men of no power. Abroad, Francis and his 
advisers were alienated from her, because of the 
situation into which Henry had put them, for which 
they blamed her influence. Henry, they imagined, 
might be brought back into the fold ; but only at the 
cost of Anne Boleyn. Any European combination 
involved her ruin. 

It was well known in England that in August 
the Emperor had made approaches to the King of 
France, not indeed with a view to a joint attack on 
Henry to enforce the Papal interdict, but at least in 
the hope of an alliance which would affect the future 
of England. Both in the Empire and in France 
the Princess Mary was looked on as the eligible 


The Dawn of the Terror 


Princess, whose hand might one day bring with it 
a claim to succession on the English throne. A son 
born to Anne, and once recognized as the Prince 
of Wales, might upset this calculation ; but where 
was the son ? 

On September 26th, Pope Clement ended his weary 
life. Maliciously, Gregory Casale wrote to Lord Roch- 
ford on October 15th : " Rome is rejoiced at the death 
of Clement VII.* . . . The creation of Paul III. has 
given the greatest pleasure in the city." Paul III. 
was Cardinal Alexander Farnese, formerly, and still 
believed to be, friendly to Henry and ill-disposed to 
the Emperor. A reconciliation between the Holy 
See and England was considered likely. Henry had 
only to renounce Anne, and all would be well. 

It has been remarked by many writers that what 
saved Anne now was the continued existence of 
Katharine of Aragon. Henry might have been pre- 
pared to cast off Anne already — there were other 
women who might bear him a son — but he would 
not take back Katharine, which would be the natural 
sequel to getting rid of her supplanter. How far 
Anne realized this is doubtful ; perhaps not at all. 
She cannot yet have fathomed the baseness of Henry's 
nature. She was, indeed, destined to be the first full 
test of its depravity. 

Parliament reassembled on November 4th to com- 
plete the work of the spring session. A fortnight 

* It must be remembered that Clement had many bitter enemies 
in his own country. On January 16th, 1535, we find the notorious 
Pietro Aretino writing to Henry VIII. from Venice that all Italy rejoiced 
at his success over Clement. " I kiss Your Highness's feet, in dis- 
honour of the Pope, a second Lucifer.'' (" Letters and Papers, 
Henry VIII.," Vol. VII., page 31.) 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

later the Act of Supremacy was carried, and steps 
were immediately taken for enforcing compliance 
with it by a further Act, which made it treasonable 
to deny their titles to either King, Queen, or their 
issue, or to call them heretic, schismatic, or infidel. 
This far-reaching measure met with strong opposition, 
in spite of the vigorous pressure exerted by the 
Government to force it through. Finally Henry and 
his Ministers were obliged to make two important 
concessions ; first, that the Act should not come 
into operation until the following February ist, and, 
secondly, that only a malicious denial of title should 
be held treasonable. 

In the meantime a new mission had come over 
from King Francis, headed by Philippe de Chabot, 
Sieur de Brion, Admiral of France. He arrived at 
Court on November 16th ; and Chapuys narrates 
Henry's efforts to do him honour, including the 
summoning of a number of beautiful ladies to the 
Court. Many thought that the purpose of this visit 
was to enhance the reputation of the king with the 
English people, says the Imperial ambassador, for 
the gentry — the ruling section, Chapuys means — 
were beginning to distrust Francis for his adherence 
to the Church. 

No doubt Francis had some notion of re-establish- 
ing his credit at the English Court ; but he also 
wished to influence his good brother Henry toward 
moderation, with a view to some accommodation with 
the new Pope. Part of his scheme was to carry 
into effect the marriage of the Princess Mary to the 
Dauphin Francis, to whom she had been affianced 
in tender years. The Emperor's suggestion to Francis 

The Dawn of the Terror 


in August had been a marriage between Mary and 
the Duke of Angouleme, the French King's third 
son, from which might result some day the accession 
of a French prince to the English throne. Francis 
preferred the original match ; but the difficulty in 
either case was that Mary must not be deemed 
illegitimate, so that the measures declaring her so 
must be reversed. 

Acting on his instructions, the Admiral of France 
on November 26th requested Henry to complete 
the treaties of 15 18 by arranging the marriage of 
Mary to the Dauphin, threatening him, in the event 
of refusal, with a marriage between the Dauphin 
and the Infanta, daughter of the Emperor. Chapuys, 
a deeply interested watcher of the French mission, 
says that "it is not known how the King received 
this, but his Lady is very angry at it." Nothing 
else could have been expected of Anne. Mary's 
legitimization would mean the undoing of the Acts 
of Succession and Supremacy, and her own extinction. 

Henry, however, would not hear of the marriage 
between Mary and the Dauphin. Instead he made 
a counter-proposal to Francis that the latter should 
obtain from Pope Paul a decision that Clement's 
sentence was void, whereon he would be willing to 
treat for a renunciation of his own title of " King 
of France " — always a sore point with Francis — and 
for a marriage between the Princess Elizabeth and 
the Duke of Angouleme.* 

The Admiral's mission was a failure. If he came 
over expecting to find Henry prepared for concessions, 

* Henry to Francis. (" Letters and Papers, Henry VIII., Vol. VII., 


228 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

he was totally undeceived. Henry would yield 
nothing, and at the very time of the Admiral's visit 
Parliament made his defiance of opinion abroad 
as definite as it could be. As for Anne's position, 
the Admiral could draw what deductions he pleased. 
He had come over prepared to slight her. The King 
asked him early if he would not like to see her. He 
replied very coldly that he would do so if it pleased 
His Majesty ; which, says Chapuys, was noted by 
several people. Chapuys also records, with obvious 
enjoyment, an incident on the eve of the Admiral's 
departure for home, December ist. A Court Ball 
was given in his honour, and, according to Charles's 
representative, the Admiral was seated next the 
Lady while the dancing was in progress, when sud- 
denly without any apparent occasion she went into 
a fit of uncontrollable laughter. The Admiral thereat 
showed great annoyance, and frowning asked, " How, 
Madame, do you mock at me, or what ? " Anne 
checked her laughter, and excused herself to him 
by saying that she laughed because the King had 
told her that he was going to look for the Admiral's 
secretary and bring him to her, but instead had met 
a lady on his way and had forgotten all else. 

"I do not know if the excuse was accepted as 
satisfactory," adds Chapuys, who has also about this 
same time another story, which he had heard from 
Sir Nicholas Carew, Master of the Horse, brother-in- 
law of Francis Bryan. Anne, it appears, began to 
complain one day to the King about the young lady 
(who is no doubt the same lady who figures in the 
other tale), saying that she did not do her, either 
in word or in deed, the reverence which she expected. 

The Dawn of the Terror 


Henry angrily left her, exclaiming against her im- 
portunity. Truly, Anne was experiencing the same 
treatment as, for love of her, Henry had inflicted on 
Katharine ; except that he did not accord her such 
respect as he had shown to her predecessor, nor 
apparently trouble to explain that his relations with 
the young lady were perfectly correct. 

In this same letter* the Emperor is told by his 
ambassador how the Lady's sister was banished 
from the Court three months ago, it being necessary 
to do so, " for, besides that she had been found guilty 
of misconduct, it would not have been becoming to 
see her at the Court enceinte" Here we have an 
opportunity of testing the gossiper's veracity. We 
have not heard anything of the former Mary Boleyn 
for some time, though she appears in the list of 
recipients of the King's New Year gifts for 1534. 
We know, however, from a letter of hers, undated 
but evidently belonging to this year, that she had 
fallen into disgrace at Court. The letter shall show 
whether this disgrace was also a dishonour to her. 

Signing herself " Mary Stafford," she writes to 
Cromwell, begging him to be good to her poor husband 
and herself. (This husband was a Sir William 
Stafford, of whom little is known except that he 
was of better breeding than fortune, and that he 
was employed as gentleman usher to the King. Crom- 
well is aware, continues Mary, that their marriage, 
being clandestine, displeases the King and Queen. 
" But one thing, good master Secretary, consider ; 

* Chapuys to the Emperor, December 18th, 1534, in " Letters and 
Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. VII. The letter of "Mary Stafford' 1 
is in the same volume, Appendix, page 612. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

that he was young, and love overcame reason. And 
for my part I saw so much honesty in him that I 
loved him as well as he did me ; and was in bondage, 
and glad I was to be at liberty ; so that for my part 
I saw that all the world did set so little by me, and he 
so much, that I thought I could take no better way 
but to take him and forsake all other ways and to 
live a poor honest life with him ; and so I do put 
no doubts but we should, if we might once be so 
happy to recover the King's gracious favour and the 
Queen's. For well I might a had a greater man of 
birth and a higher, but I ensure you I could never 
a had one that should a loved me so, well, nor a more 
honest man." 

She asks Cromwell to persuade His Majesty to speak 
to the Queen, who is so rigorous against them. " We 
have been now a quarter of a year married, I thank 
God, and too late now to call that again. ... I 
had rather beg my bread with him than to be the 
greatest Queen christened. . . . Pray my lord my 
father and my lady to be good to us . . . and my 
lord of Norfolk and my brother. ... I dare not 
write to them, they are so cruel against us." 

We know that Mary Boleyn had " a past ; " but 
this simple letter of hers inclines us to sympathy 
with her efforts to start life afresh. Friedmann 
suggests that the marriage with Stafford was a pre- 
tence. We can see no reason whatever for thinking 
so. On the contrary, we can well believe that Mary 
was indeed glad to escape her " bondage " — her 
dependence, since Carey's death, on her avaricious 
father — even if she gained nothing but her liberty. 
As for her estrangement from her sister Anne, in the 

The Dawn of the Terror 


circumstances it was little to be wondered at, though 
it is not clear why Anne should be vexed at Mary's 
second marriage. It perhaps merely served as an 
excuse for getting her away from Court, where her 
presence was a constant reminder of an old scandal. 
We shall see that there was a reconciliation between 
the sisters before Anne's death. 

Chabot de Brion had gone back to France to 
submit to his sovereign Henry's counter-proposals, 
promising to send back an answer as soon as he could ; 
but the answer was slow in coming. In the interval 
there was an ominous amount of discontent in 
England over the recent Parliamentary measures. 
Chapuys has one of his second-hand stories to tell, 
how that the Earl of Northumberland's physician 
had told him that the Earl had said that the whole 
realm was so indignant at the oppressions and enor- 
mities now practised that, if the Emperor would make 
the smallest effort, Henry would be ruined. North- 
umberland was also alleged to have spoken of the 
arrogance and malice of the Lady, who had lately 
addressed to her uncle Norfolk such shameful words 
as one would not use to a dog. Norfolk had quitted 
her presence (in fact, leaving the Court altogether 
for some time), and in revenge had spoken of her 
as a grande putain. We can well believe this of Nor- 
folk ; but it seems improbable that Northumberland 
should have pretended Imperialist sympathies or 
should have spoken against Anne, to whom, in a 
half-hearted way, he was loyal to the end. 

Although Henry was quite well aware of the un- 
popularity of his religious policy and of the danger 
of interference from outside, he did not cease to carry 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

out his schemes. On January 15th, 1535, he had 
himself proclaimed as " Henry VIII., by the grace 
of God King of England and France, Defender of 
the Faith and Lord of Ireland, and on earth the 
Supreme Head of the English Church." A requisi- 
tion was sent to the bishops to burn all Bulls 
they had from the Pope and to acknowledge that 
they had everything from the King. The bishoprics 
of the two Italian prelates, Campeggio and Ghinucci, 
of which they had already been deprived in 1534, 
were assigned now to two proteges of Anne's, Nicholas 
Shaxton, her almoner, and Hugh Latimer, one of 
her chaplains, who thus became Bishops of Salisbury 
and Worcester. At the same time, however, there 
was a prohibition of books of Zwinglian doctrine, 
and we hear of the burning, by Council's orders, of 
copies of the New Testament in English, of which 
destruction Anne was certainly not in favour. 

A step of which the import could scarcely be doubted 
was the appointment of Cromwell on January 21st 
as Vicar-General, with a commission for a general 
visitation of churches, monasteries and clergy. Anne 
was only destined to see the beginning of the work 
which her ally would do with this commission, and 
we cannot charge her with complicity in the spoliation, 
ready as she always was to press the claims to vacant 
offices of divines whose religious principles com- 
mended themselves to her. 

At last, on January 31st, the long-expected envoy 
from France arrived, in the person of Palamede 
Gontier, Treasurer of Brittany, who had accompanied 
the Admiral of France on his visit before Christmas. 
Interviews with the King took place at once, in the 

From an engraving by Houbraken, after a painting by Holbein. 

Thomas Cromwell, afterwards Earl of Essex. 

[To tac p. 2$u 

The Dawn of the Terror 


course of which Henry boasted (as we know from 
Gontier's letter to the Admiral) of " the augmentation 
of his revenue, the union of his kingdom, and the 
peace of conscience," which he was enjoying in con- 
sequence of having thrown off subjection to Rome, 
and urged the desirability of Francis following suit. 
But Francis, who had just been distinguishing him- 
self by particularly bitter persecution of the Luthe- 
rans, at whose burnings he was present in state, had 
no idea of taking Henry's advice, and his instructions 
to his representative were still to press for a recon- 
ciliation with the Pope. That this would involve 
Anne's downfall did not trouble him at all. He 
believed that Henry was prepared for this ; which 
was true, provided that Anne's fall did not mean 
Katharine's restoration. 

Gontier, however, was not so cavalier as the Admiral 
had been in his treatment of Anne, and on February 
2nd, only two days after his arrival in London, Crom- 
well took him to see the Queen. When he had de- 
livered a letter from the Admiral, Anne complained 
of his long delay, which, she said, had caused her 
husband many doubts, and insisted that the Admiral 
must devise some remedy to prevent her ruin, for 
she saw that very near and was in more grief and 
trouble than before her marriage. She could not 
speak as fully as she wished of her affairs, because 
of the many eyes upon her, the King's and those 
of all the lords present ; nor could she write, nor 
yet see him again. She took leave of him hurriedly 
and did not follow Henry into the dance-room. 
Gontier could see that she was far from at her ease, 
and was distrustful of the attitude of Francis. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Henry, for his part, did not act as if he trusted 
Francis far ; and he showed decided signs of mak- 
ing up to the Imperial ambassador, in spite of the 
firm protests of Chapuys against the continued bad 
treatment of Katharine and Mary, the last example of 
which was the refusal, during a serious illness of 
the younger princess, of Katharine's pathetic re- 
quest that the King should send u his daughter and 
mine " to her at Kimbolton and allow her to nurse 

If Anne and Henry had their doubts of Francis, 
so too had Cromwell, who was no follower of the 
policy of his old master, Wolsey, that France was 
the only possible ally. Particularly at the present 
time did he wish to keep clear of anything that might 
lead to reunion with Rome, which threatened his 
ruin equally with Anne's. He would not desert 
her yet % ; and perhaps his influence is to be seen in 
the next curious manoeuvre which prevented the 
King yet from throwing his second wife to the wolves. 

The young lady of unknown name, whose in- 
fluence over Henry had given Anne legitimate cause 
for jealousy, was, we have seen reason to believe, 
an adherent of the old noble and Roman Catholic 
section of the Court. Suddenly we hear, through 
a letter of Chapuys on February 25th, that she is 
no longer in favour. " She has been succeeded 
in her office by a first cousin of the Concubine, daughter 
of the Princess's present governess." This was 
Margaret, daughter of Sir John and Lady Shelton. 
It is possible, of course, that the King's wandering 
eyes lighted on her without any prompting from 
outside ; but the change of favourites was to the 

The Dawn of the Terror 


advantage of the Boleyns and aided Cromwell's fight 
against a Roman Catholic reaction. 

Gontier left for France at the beginning of March, 
returning for a brief second visit at the end of the 
month, when it was arranged that English com- 
missioners should proceed to Calais at Whitsuntide 
to conclude terms for the marriage of the Princess 
Elizabeth and the Duke of Angouleme. The idea 
of a royal visit to France appears to have receded 
into the distance. One point, however, was gained 
for Henry, since we find Francis making a fresh at- 
tempt at Rome to have Clement's sentence reversed, 
as the price of his reconciliation with the Church. 

Conspiracy was all the while rife in England, par- 
ticularly among the Northern nobles, but also fairly 
generally among the Roman Catholic lords. Chapuys 
was in touch with all the malcontents, and had fre- 
quent conversations with them. Among his guests 
at dinner on one occasion were Lord Darcy's son 
and the Earl of Wiltshire's own brother, Sir James 
Boleyn, who did not share Thomas's Reforming 
sympathies. The main idea of the conspirators was 
to get the Princess Mary smuggled out of the king- 
dom into Flanders ; for it was felt that a rising would 
be futile if she were liable to be thrown into the Tower 
as a hostage. Mary and her mother were certainly 
conscious of the plot ; and it is scarcely to be wondered 
at that Anne should have spoken of them — at least 
Chapuys affirms so — as " rebels and traitresses, de- 
serving death." Her own death was no matter of 
doubt if a rising were successful. 

The King and Cromwell, cognisant as they were 
of the intrigues, dared not act against the leaders ; 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

but in other ways they were singularly bold in chal- 
lenging public opinion. The particularly atrocious 
crime of the execution of the Carthusian fathers 
on May 4th was carried out without the slightest 
sign of compunction. Cranmer made an appeal to 
Cromwell on behalf of two of them, that they might 
be sent to him, since he thought he could do much 
for them ; but he was not allowed to try. They 
had denied the King's supremacy over the Church, 
and for this they died a horrible death, their heads 
and portions of their mangled bodies being after- 
wards sent to decorate all the gates of the City and 
the Charterhouse itself. 

Chapuys alleges that the young Duke of Richmond, 
the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Wiltshire, Lord 
Rochford, Sir Henry Norris and other courtiers were 
present at the execution, and that the King " would 
have liked to see this butchery," but was not there. 
To that extent Henry behaved better than his brother 
of France over the burning of the Lutherans. 

The one secular priest, John Hale, vicar of Isle- 
worth, who shared the fate of the Carthusians, 
certainly merited punishment, though the lunatic 
asylum would have been more appropriate than the 
scaffold. According to his own confession, he was 
" aged and oblivious," and he had been ill ; but 
he was convicted, on the evidence of several people, 
including a young priest of Teddington, who re- 
ceived a pardon, of conversations which were both 
treasonable and indecent. Among other things he 
said that "the King's Grace had meddling with 
the Queen's mother " — possibly the original source 
of the monstrous tale of Sanders. 

The Dawn of the Terror 


The campaign of barbarous terrorism was fairly 
started by this abominable scene on May 4th ; though 
it must be remembered that these were not the first 
religious victims in the reign of Henry VIII., and 
that previous victims had been sacrificed for heresy 
quite other than the denial of the King's supremacy. 
We can scarcely look on the executions of 1535 and 
the immediately following period as religious murders, 
unless we call Henry himself a religion. The Car- 
thusians, and Fisher, More, and others after them 
were offered up on the altar not of Reform, but of 
a brutal egomaniac. 

In spite of the supposed presence of her father and 
brother (who, after all, were courtiers) at the execution 
of the Carthusians, and in spite of alleged violent 
speeches of hers against priests from whom she differed, 
we have no right to assume that Anne took any 
pleasure in the atrocity of May 4th. Chapuys, indeed, 
says, after describing it, that " the Concubine is more 
haughty than ever, and ventures to tell the King 
that he is more bound to her than man can be to 
woman, and moreover that he came out of it the richest 
prince that ever was in England, and without her he 
would not have reformed the Church, to his own 
great profit and that of all the people/' But here, 
once more, we have only hearsay collected by an 
inveterate enemy. So we need not give undue weight 
to his further assertion, to his friend Granvelle, of 
the Emperor's Council, that, even if the King of 
England wished to abandon his abominable ob- 
stinacy against the priests, the Lady and Cromwell 
would not allow him. Cromwell was certainly a 
persecutor, with whom zeal for Reform was a 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

mere pretext ; but where is the evidence against 
Anne ? 

It may be noted that at the beginning of June 
fourteen Dutch Anabaptists were burnt at Smith- 
field and elsewhere for " heresy," as if to prove the 
impartiality of the persecutors. 

The counter-mission to France after Gontier's second 
visit had included Norfolk and Rochford. On May 
22nd they met the Admiral at Calais, when neither 
side found the other in an accommodating mood. Roch- 
ford was sent back at once for further instructions, 
and Chapuys heard that on the 25th, the day of his 
arrival, before seeing the King, he went to his sister 
and had a long conversation with her. " He cannot 
have brought back anything agreeable, for I am 
told by the Master of the Horse that, both then and 
several times since, she has been in a bad humour 
and said a thousand shameful words of the King of 
France and the whole nation." Henry and his 
Council met to consider Rochford's report ; and it 
was noticed that Morette, the resident French am- 
bassador, not only was not invited to attend the 
Council, but also had to wait until ten o'clock one 
night at Cromwell's lodgings at Austin Friars, to be 
sent off finally with but " two words." 

Cromwell, indeed, was manifesting friendliness to- 
ward the Imperial ambassador rather than the French. 
He had a meeting with Chapuys, who says that 
Cromwell told him if the Lady knew they were con- 
versing freely she would make some trouble. Only 
three days ago, he added, he had had words with her, 
when she said she would like to see his head cut off ; 
but such was his confidence in the King that he did 

The Dawn of the Terror 239 

not believe she could do him any harm. Chapuys 
suspected Cromwell of inventing this tale, to " en- 
hance his goods," and dryly replied that all the world 
regarded him as the Lady's right hand. 

Rochford was sent back to France, but without 
instructions to make any concessions, with the result 
that the meeting at Calais broke up in the middle of 
June. Both sides were very dissatisfied, each thinking 
the other's demands exorbitant. Henry wanted Francis 
so far to espouse his cause with the Pope as, in the 
event of Paul's refusal to reverse Clement's sentence, 
to copy his own action against Rome ; and he wished 
to lay down exacting conditions concerning the Duke 
of Angouleme as the consort of the Princess Elizabeth. 
Francis wanted very definite guarantees as the price 
of his support against Pope and Emperor • and he 
pressed for the carrying out of the marriage of the 
Dauphin and the Princess Mary. 

The Papal nuncio in France, the Bishop of Faenza, 
writes that, on the separation of the Calais conference, 
there was a pretence by both parties that the Anglo- 
French friendship was firmer than ever. He mentions 
also a visit to Amiens by Rochford, who, as far as 
could be seen, accomplished nothing. "It is only 
from his relation to the Queen that he is employed/' 
adds the Bishop, " for the King has very few to trust 
in. All business passes through the hands of people 
who trust in the new Queen, and must therefore be 
settled according to her purpose."* Such, less than 
eleven months before her fall, was the impression 
abroad of Anne Boleyn's continued power. 

* Letter to Ambrosio (Papal Secretary), June 22nd, 1535. (" Letters 
and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. VIII., page 358.) 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

At the same time in England there was talk of a 
fresh access of attention from Henry to his Queen, 
the reason for which we may see in Anne's hopes 
already beginning of again becoming a mother.* 
Though Chapuys was not informed of these hopes, he 
heard of Anne's return to favour. He writes on June 
1 6th that, to divert the King from certain annoyances 
(to which we shall refer), " the Lady lately made him 
a feast in a house of hers, where she gave several brave 
mummeries. She invited many, and the French 
ambassador was not pleased at being forgotten. The 
said Lady has so well banquetted and mummed that, 
by what the Princess [Mary] sent me to-day to say, 
the King dotes upon her more than ever." 

The annoyances from which Henry suffered were 
partly, no doubt, the unyielding attitude of France, 
but also the action of the new Pope in conferring 
cardinals' hats upon du Bellay, Ghinucci and Fisher. 
On the two first Henry looked as friends of his — in 
spite of his depriving Ghinucci of his English bishopric 
— whom he did not want brought into the Pope's 
circle. But the elevation of Fisher was a much 
severer blow. There had been some mitigation of 
the treatment of the old Bishop of Rochester, as also 
of Sir Thomas More, in the Tower ; but there was no 
cessation of the efforts made to induce them to swear 
to the Act of Succession, and Henry was determined 
that they should give the example of obedience. 
Now Fisher, against whom he had the greater grudge, 
for his dealings with Elizabeth Barton, was honoured 
with the cardinalate ! This was too much to be 
borne ; and, to make matters worse, Henry received 

* See letter of Sir William Kingston to Lord Lisle. June 24th, 1535. 

The Dawn of the Terror 


a letter from Francis, written at the Pope's request, 
interceding on the Bishop's behalf. Remarking that 
the head could be sent to fit the cardinal's hat, Henry 
gave orders for his execution. 

There had been a brief pause in the martyrdoms. 
On June 19th they recommenced, three more Carthusian 
monks being done to death that day, with scarcely 
less atrocity than their predecessors in May. On the 
22nd Fisher was led out to execution at the Tower, 
the worst features of such scenes being graciously 
omitted, though his head, after it had been struck 
off, was put up on London Bridge. 

Having made this splendid vindication of his right 
to do what he liked in his own kingdom, and taught 
a lesson to Pope Paul on the folly of giving cardinals' 
hats to rebellious priests, Henry performed a very 
characteristic act, of which Chapuys gives us the 
details. Writing to Granvelle, he tells him about " a 
gallant and notable interpretation of a chapter of the 
Apocalypse " — apparently some sort of masque — 
which was played on the eve of St. John (June 23rd) at 
some unnamed place outside London. The King 
went thirty miles to see it, walking indeed ten of 
them in the small hours of the morning — with a two- 
handed sword, Chapuys asserts — and got into a house 
where he could see everything. " He was so pleased 
at seeing himself cutting off the heads of the clergy 
that, in order to laugh at his ease and to encourage 
the people, he discovered himself. He sent to tell 
his Lady that she ought to see it repeated on the eve 
of St. Peter." 

Another head was still lacking to complete the 
present instalment of terrorism, and this time not a 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

priestly one. Sir Thomas More continued to reject 
the oath, undeterred by Fisher's fate. He was brought 
up for final examination, and, on the pretence that 
he maliciously persevered in refusing a direct answer 
to the question whether he admitted the King's 
supremacy over the Church,* was declared subject 
to the penalties of the law. On July ist he went to the 
scaffold on Tower Hill, and his head was sent to join 
Fisher's on London Bridge. 

In Clifford's " Life of Jane Dormer " it is stated 
that M when a gentleman brought word to the King 
that Sir Thomas More was beheaded, the King being 
at the table, and the Lady Anne standing by, the King, 
throwing away the dice, showed anger and sorrow 
... and said ' This is long of you ; the honestest 
man of my kingdom is dead,' and suddenly retired 
chafing." A similar story is found elsewhere, and we 
may or may not believe it, as we please. Anyhow, 
four days later, Henry set out on a long progress through 
the West and South of England, having great enter- 
tainment at the houses of his subjects, and being 
noticed as " more given to matters of dancing and the 
ladies than ever he was."f 

Anne accompanied her husband on part of his 
progress. If it be asked how, unless she approved of 
his conduct, she could tolerate his presence, other 
questions occur. How is it that the Pope even now 
did not proceed to the last extremities of his power ? 
How is it Charles still held his hand, that Francis went 
no further than verbal denunciations of the atrocities, 
that Henry's own subjects, the incomparably larger 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. VIII., page 385. 
| Chapuys to the Emperor, July nth, 1535. 

The Dawn of the Terror 


portion still loyal to Rome, did not break out into 
rebellion ? How is it that he still continued to charm 
ladies, including Jane Seymour, of whom we are soon 
to hear ? The answer to all these questions must 
presumably be yet another question, How is it that 
monsters have been — and still are — tolerated in the 
world ? 




ALTHOUGH the world did not rise up in horror 
against Henry VIII. after the crimes of May- 
July, 1535, the effect was very great. We hear of 
his ally Francis speaking of Fisher's execution " like 
a Christian and a virtuous prince," and saying that he 
knew Henry was given over to perdition, and no 
good could be expected of him.* That he went 
on to denounce Anne, saying " how little virtuously 
she has always lived and now lives,' ' is no cause for 
surprise, since Francis had long had a resentment 
against her for upsetting his foreign policy. As an 
honest opinion of her moral character it can hardly 
be treated. 

Pope Paul was nearly aroused into vigorous action, 
and there can be no doubt that, whatever friendliness 
he had once had for Henry in Clement's time, he was 
deeply stirred by the death of Fisher. He went so 
far as to send out briefs to all Christian princes, calling 
on them to be ready to execute justice on Henry 
when he would require them to do so. This was 
towards the end of July ; and a month later there 
were signs of a determination to carry the sentence 
of excommunication to completion by a Bull of Depriva- 

l * Bishop of Faenza to Ambrosio, July 4th, 1535. 


The Death of Katharine of Aragon 245 

tion. But now, strangely, it was Imperial influence 
rather than French, which held the Pope back, Charles's 
reluctance being due to the fact that the Princess 
Mary was still in Henry's hands ; and also he was 
suspicious of the French King's good faith in the 
event of joint action against England being planned. 

While the consequences of his latest misdeeds were 
slow in manifesting themselves, Henry was on his 
tour, hunting and hawking and otherwise amusing 
himself, when not compelled to attend to business. 
The plague was bad in London this summer, and he 
had no desire to expose himself to its infection. Of 
Anne there are only a few passing notices for a time. 
We find her writing to Cromwell* from " my lord's 
manor of Langley " on July 18th, concerning some 
preferment which she desired for a clerical friend. 
As Henry left Langley, which was shortly to be 
prepared as a home for the Princess Elizabeth, on 
July 1 6th and made his way towards Gloucester- 
shire, it is clear that he had left her behind for the 
time. In early August we hear, through Chapuys, 
of Henry " still on the confines of Wales, hunting 
and traversing the country to gain the people ; " 
but Anne is not mentioned as being with him. 

At the beginning of September the King was 
obliged to turn some attention to his foreign affairs. 
On the receipt of the Pope's brief summoning him 
to be ready for action against Henry, Francis decided 
to send Dinteville, generally called the Bailly of 

* Not the same letter, with the extraordinary spelling and signed 
" Your lovyng mestres Anne the Quene," which is in the British 
Museum and is reproduced in " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," 
Vol. VIII., No. 417. 

246 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Troyes, and a suite over to England to show the brief 
and explain their master's difficulties. If it was to 
come to war between Francis and the Emperor, the 
former required Henry to pay one-third of the French 
army's expenses. Dinteville had further, secret 
instructions, to report on the state in which he found 
England with regard to Henry's popularity. 

Henry accordingly prepared to receive the French 
envoys, putting aside his distractions. But it seems 
that already, before he met Dinteville, he had come 
across a person who was destined to attract him 
more powerfully than any woman since the youthful 
Anne Boleyn. Here enters into the story Jane 
Seymour, whose coming to the Court of the woman 
she was to supplant is, however, otherwise told by 
the author of the previously mentioned " Life of Jane 
Dormer." Clifford says that Sir Francis Bryan (whom 
he, like all good Roman Catholics, hates) was anxious 
to make a match between his niece Jane Seymour 
and William, son of Sir Robert Dormer and Lady 
Jane Dormer the elder. But Lady Jane, not liking 
Bryan's character, carried her son off to London, to 
the house of Sir William Sidney, to whose wife she 
had made an overture for a match with their eldest 
daughter Mary. The overture was accepted, " which," 
continues Clifford, " when Sir Francis Bryan under- 
stood, seeing his pretence deluded, was ill-pleased. . . . 
He sent them word that they should see his niece 
as well bestowed. For he, carrying her up to the 
Court, placed her with the Lady Anne Boleyn, the 
Queen, in whose service the King affected her, for which 
there was often much scratching and bye-blows 
between the Queen and her maid." 

Front an engraving by W. Bond, alter Holbein's painting in the Duke of Bedford's collection. 

Jane Seymour. 

[To face p. 246. 

The Death of Katharine of Aragon 247 

In spite of Clifford's explicit statement, it is 
generally accepted that Jane Seymour was first a 
maid of honour to Queen Katharine ; though this 
does not of course disprove Clifford's story, as she may 
have retired from the Court on Katharine's removal 
and have been brought back again later. She is 
supposed to have been born about 1509, and was 
one of the eight children of Sir John Seymour, of 
Wolf Hall, Wiltshire, and his wife Margaret, daughter 
of Sir John Wentworth, through whom some connec- 
tion with royal blood was claimed. The relationship 
with Bryan is obscure. Sir John Seymour was groom 
of the chamber to Henry VIII. and governor of 
Bristol Castle ; and his sons, Edward and Thomas, 
early began to make their mark at Court, where they 
were destined afterwards to be such notable figures. 

In September, 1535, a visit is recorded of the King 
to Wolf Hall ; and it is possible that, if Jane was then 
at her father's home, Henry's notice was first drawn 
to her at this time, away from other female society. 

Jane was neither brilliant of intellect nor beautiful. 
But she was pale and demure, and in this way may 
have attracted the King by her contrast with Anne, 
in the same way as Anne had attracted him by her 
contrast with Katharine. Anyhow, Henry had dis- 
covered one whom he considered suitable as his 
third wife, when he should be free to take such. 

The meeting between Henry and Francis's repre- 
sentatives did not result in any good. Chapuys 
heard that the King appeared " sad and melancholy " 
when he read the letters which the Bailly of Troyes 
presented to him. It was soon obvious that the 
old suspicions between the two kings still persisted, 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

and that neither was ready to make concessions. 
To Henry, Dinteville's attitude appeared arrogant ; 
and he could not hold his own anger in check. Crom- 
well, who had previously exhibited rudeness to the 
resident French ambassador, was little better to the 
special envoy. When he saw it was useless to prolong 
his stay in England, Dinteville requested to be allowed 
to return home, while Henry decided to send Gardiner, 
Bishop of Winchester, over to France, to try whether 
he could do anything, and with instructions to 
" watch the French King's inward demeanour." 

The French mission must have seen Anne during 
their stay in England, for one of them* writes to 
Marguerite, Queen of Navarre, that she had told him 
that her greatest wish, next to bearing a son, was 
to see Margaret again. With regard to the informa- 
tion for which Francis had asked concerning the 
state of England, a memorandum from the Bishop 
of Tarbes (who was succeeding Morette as resident 
French ambassador) to Dinteville records that " the 
lower people are greatly exasperated with the Queen, 
saying a thousand ill and improper things against her, 
and also against those who support her in her enter- 
prises, charging upon them all the inconveniences 
which they see will arise from war [with the Emperor]." 
Francis's spies, in fact, found England seething with 
discontent, London plague-stricken, the country suffer- 
ing from bad weather and a poor harvest, no one 
pleased with the recent executions, and trade in such 
a state that it was felt that only the cutting off of 

* Unknown writer to the Queen of Navarre, September 15th, 1535 
(" Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. IX., page 127). The 
memorandum which follows is in the same volume, page 187. 

The Death of Katharine of Aragon 249 

Flanders through war was required to ruin it 

The Bishop of Tarbes also notes, what would not 
be displeasing to his master, that Henry's affection 
for his wife is " less than it has been and diminishes 
day by day, because he has new amours " — which 
may be presumed to be a reference to Jane Seymour. 

Before leaving England, Dinteville asked permis- 
sion to see the Princess Mary, concerning whom 
Francis was anxious as his intended daughter-in- 
law. Henry, though not recognizing the betrothal, 
gave permission for a visit to the two young princesses, 
now at Eltham. Thither accordingly Dinteville and 
his suite proceeded, accompanied by a gentleman 
of the King's bedchamber, whose name is not given 
in the French account. This gentleman told them 
on the way that he had secretly been instructed by 
the Queen to watch them ; from which it is evident 
that he was not a very loyal friend to Anne. On 
arrival at Eltham they found that they were not to 
be allowed to see the elder princess. From Chapuys 
we learn that Lady Shelton had been ordered by her 
niece to prevent this, and had already told Mary to 
keep her room while the French were there. Mary 
was indignant, but, having been able to communi- 
cate with Chapuys before their arrival, was advised 
by him to obey. She did so, and solaced herself by 
playing the spinet in her room during their visit. 
So the envoys only saw the baby Elizabeth. 

On their way back from Eltham the French were 
cheered by the people, who knew that they had called 
to see the beloved Princess Mary. As a further sign 
of her great popularity, it was noted that, on her 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

recent journey with Elizabeth to Eltham from 
Greenwich, crowds had assembled to cheer her, among 
them some ladies of high station, who were conse- 
quently arrested and sent for a while to the Tower. 
Among these ladies were Lady Rochford and Lady 
William Howard, Norfolk's sister-in-law.* 

Chapuys, who had also intimated a desire to visit 
the Princess Mary, was politely reassured by Cromwell 
as to her health, about which " no one feels more 
anxiety than her father/' and was asked to defer his 
visit until a more convenient time. While continuing 
his discourtesy toward the French, to such an extent 
that the Bishop of Tarbes made a complaint about it, 
Cromwell was particularly courteous to the Imperial 
ambassador, who indeed felt moved to write of him 
to Granvelle that " he speaks well in his own language, 
and tolerably in Latin, French and Italian, is hospitable, 
liberal both with his property and with gracious words, 
magnificent in his household and in building." Crom- 
well had not in vain studied in the school of Wolsey, 
as far as exterior things were concerned. 

Having dispatched Gardiner to France, still in the 
hope of weaning the King from his regard for the Pope 
— which really went further than Henry suspected, 
for Francis had already secretly agreed to help in 
carrying out a Bull of Deprivation, provided that 
the Emperor acted with him ! — Henry continued his 
progress. This he had continued into October, owing 
to the slow abatement of the plague in London. On 
October 2nd we hear that " the King and the Queen is 
merry and hawks daily, and likes Winchester and that 

* It appears that Friedmann (Vol. II., page 128) was the first to 
point out that these two were among the rash ladies. 

The Death of Katharine of Aragon 251 

quarter, and praises it daily ; " and on the 19th that 
" the King's Grace is mery " and is going via East- 
hamstead to Windsor.* 

At length, the deaths from plague having stopped, 
the Court returned to town, where news came of the 
serious illness of King Francis. Henry was truly 
concerned. In spite of his distrust of him, he still 
looked on Francis as his bulwark against Papal cen- 
sures. Accordingly when further news arrived of his 
good brother's recovery, he had the event celebrated 
by a splendid " masse of the Holie Ghost and Te 
Deutn" as Wriothesley calls it, in St. Paul's Cathedral 
on November 12th ; and a few days later he hastened 
Francis Bryan off with a reminder to Gardiner in 
France to urge on the convalescent the same old 
policy, which he had been commending to him so long, 
of repudiation of Rome. But Gardiner could do 
nothing ; and the end of 1535 arrived with Anglo- 
French relations still in the same ambiguous state. 
In the meantime, the Pope, or rather Consistory, 
actually took a further step forward. In mid-December 
a monitory was issued, " fixing," as Ortiz writes to 
the Empress, " a space of two months for the King 
to turn from his heresy and schism and public adultery, 
and then he will not be declared deprived of his king- 
dom." No more than Pope Clement could Pope Paul 
be accused of undue precipitation. 

Whether Paul had really any hope of the English 
King undoing his past deeds and seeking reconcilement 
with the Church cannot be ascertained. None of 
Henry's actions suggested such a change of heart. 

* Letters from Sir Richard Graynfeld (Grenville) and Sir Francis 
Bryan in " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. IX. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Cromwell, through his deputies, had been steadily 
pressing on with his visitation of the dioceses, though 
confining his work of spoliation chiefly to the smaller 
monastries at present. There was a lull in executions, 
though minor persecutions of the clergy continued. 
With regard to the taking back of Katharine, and with 
that the restoration of Mary to her rank, there was 
not the slightest sign. Indeed, their adherents were 
prophesying speedy ends for both. They believed 
that Henry contemplated ridding himself of the two — 
failing by poison, which would be too suspicious in 
the case of Mary, then on the block. 

The first serious suggestion of execution as a means 
of freeing Henry from the presence of the ex-Queen 
and her daughter seems to occur in a letter written by 
Chapuys to the Emperor on November 6th, 1535. 
The ambassador relates how the Marchioness of Exeter, 
who, like her husband, was Katharine's firm supporter 
from the first, sent word to him that Henry had lately 
told some of his most confidential councillors that he 
would no longer endure the trouble, fear and suspense 
caused by Katharine and Mary, and that they must see 
to it that he was released in the next Parliament, for 
he swore he would wait no more. 

Seventeen days later Chapuys tells the Emperor 
of a secret visit to him by the Marchioness of Exeter, 
in disguise, to confirm the information she had sent 
him. She added that, seeing tears in the eyes of some 
of his hearers, Henry told them tears and wry faces 
were of no avail. Even if it cost him his crown, he 
would carry his purpose into effect. " These are things 
too monstrous to believe," comments the ambassador ; 
" but considering what has passed and goes on daily — 

The Death of Katharine of Aragon 258 

the long continuance of these threats — and moreover 
that the Concubine, who long ago plotted the death 
of these ladies and thinks of nothing but getting rid 
of them, is the party who governs everything and whom 
the King has no power to contradict, the matter is 
very dangerous." 

Similarly, Chapuys informs Granvelle, again on 
Lady Exeter's authority, that Henry has declared he 
will see that soon Mary shall want neither company 
nor retinue, and that she shall be an example that no 
one shall disobey the laws. 

The Imperialists all believed that the King was ready 
to put to death not only his former wife, but Mary also, 
and that Anne was the instigator. Even from Rome 
Ortiz was writing to the Empress on November 22nd 
that la Manceba had often said of Mary, " She is my 
death, and I am hers, so I will take care that she shall 
not laugh at me after my death ! " 

Was all this true ? Probably Henry would have 
had no scruples concerning Katharine ; but it is 
doubtful whether we should attach much importance 
to the violence of his language against his daughter. 
He was determined to break her spirit, as he finally 
did — after Anne Boleyn's death. But, as has been 
noted already, a certain amount of affection for his 
offspring always marked him. 

Of Anne it could not be expected that she should 
regard Katharine and Mary with other feelings than 
fear. Their existence was a menace both to her and 
her daughter ; and, in the event of a successful rising 
against Henry in their favour, there could be no doubt 
what her fate, if not Elizabeth's, would be. This is 
not the same as saying that she was prepared to go to 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

the length of murder, as her enemies asserted. In- 
deed, in spite of the threats that Mary should not laugh 
after her death, she did not abandon attempts at 
conciliation. With Katharine obviously the idea of 
such attempts was absurd. Besides, she was passing 
beyond the possibility of conciliation and the reach of 
enmity alike. The first week of 1536 saw her precede 
her supplanter out of life, little over four months in 
advance of her. 

The facts of Katharine's miserable and tragic end 
are familiar* ; how, already on her death-bed at Kim- 
bolton at Christmas 1535, she was denied even the 
solace of a last sight of her daughter ; how, though not 
without obstacles, she was allowed to see the Imperial 
ambassador and made her complaint of her nephew's 
failure to come to the aid of her and Mary ; how she 
seemed to be recovering strength until the night of 
January 7th, when she recognized the approach of 
death ; how she received the Sacrament at dawn, 
and then dictated her last wishes in a letter to the 
man who had been her husband, making such bequests 
as she could (which he mostly disregarded), pardoning 
him all, and wishing and devoutly praying God that 
He would also pardon him, and finishing with the 
words, " Lastly I do vow that mine eyes desire you 
above all things." 

That afternoon she was dead, and her body was 
speedily embalmed and put in a leaden cofhn. A 
rumour at once arose that she had been poisoned, for 
the man who had done the embalming told her con- 

* See M. A. S. Hume, " The Wives of Henry VIII.," pages 250-6, 
for the best summarized account, drawn from the various original 
sources, Spanish and English. 

The Death of Katharine of Aragon 255 

fessor, the old Spanish Bishop of Llandaff, that he 
had found her heart " black and hideous/' whereon 
her doctor at once declared that it was a case of poison. 
The doctor, who was also a Spaniard, had already told 
Chapuys that he suspected poisoning, though of a 
slow and cunningly contrived kind. Katharine's 
modern historian, Mr. Hume, appears to share his 
opinion and to attribute the crime to the King, who 
had urgent political reasons for wishing Katharine to 
die, 14 since he dared not carry out his threat of having 
her attainted and taken to the Tower." He does not 
suggest that Anne Boleyn was implicated ; but the 
earlier writer, Friedmann, evidently wavers on the 
point. Like so many others, Friedmann attaches an 
entirely undue importance to every suggestion by 

The Court was at Greenwich when the news of his 
first wife's death arrived. " God be praised," ex- 
claimed the King, " that we are free from all suspicion 
of war ! " The following day, which was a Sunday, 
Chapuys pictures him for us robed in yellow attending 
a Mass, to which the Princess Elizabeth was taken, 
"with trumpets and other great triumphs." After 
dinner he entered the room where the ladies danced 
and acted like one transported with joy. Then, 
sending for Elizabeth, he showed her round the room. 
" He has done the like on other days since," says 
Chapuys, u and has had some jousts at Greenwich." 

It is noticeable that the chronicler Hall only records 
that " Queen Anne wore yellow for the mourning ; " 
but the Imperial ambassador, who usually in courtier's 
fashion refrains from criticizing a brother monarch to 
his master, may surely be trusted in this instance to 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

describe the scene truly. Besides, Henry's alleged 
behaviour is in thorough keeping with his character. 
We may deplore that Anne also wore the joyful colours 
on the death of her enemy. She could scarcely be 
expected, however, to exhibit sorrow ; for the atmo- 
sphere of hatred in which she was compelled to live 
was a poor school for the nurturing of love for one's 
enemies, or even decent regard for their memories. 

From the painting, probably after Johannes Corvus, in the National Portrait Gallery. 

Katharine of Aragon. 

[To )ace p. 256. 



THE death of Katharine of Aragon marked the 
opening of the last brief phase in Anne Boleyn's 
life. Its immediate significance was disguised by the 
fact that Henry, in spite of his passion for Jane Sey- 
mour, was determined to wait for a certain event which 
might rehabilitate Anne in his eyes. If the male 
child arrived, even so late in the day as now, she might 
keep her place. 

Consequently there was no outward change at Court 
for the present. Katharine's removal had cut the 
ground from under the Emperor's feet, as Henry had 
anticipated. It seemed a good idea to the King and 
to Cromwell to attempt to use Imperial influence on 
the Princess Mary ; and Anne was willing to make a 
fresh advance to the obstinate girl. Cromwell dropped 
a hint to one of the ambassador's staff that, the ex- 
Queen being dead, nothing now remained but to 
persuade Mary to obey her father's wishes, in which 
matter the aid of Chapuys would be more effectual 
than anybody's ! Meanwhile, Anne (as Chapuys 
learnt from Mary herself) " threw the first bait " to 
the Princess, sending her a message by Lady Shelton 
that if she would lay aside her obstinacy and obey, 
she would find her the best friend in the world. Anne 

257 17 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

to be with child, she for anger and disdain miscarried, 
as she said, betwitting the King with it, who willed 
her to pardon him, and he would not displease her in 
that kind thereafter." Probably Clifford does not 
here mean to cast doubt on there having been a mis- 
carriage at all ; but we have already heard that one 
enemy, the Bishop of Faenza, papal nuncio in France, 
wrote to Rome how " that woman " (by which, of 
course, he meant Anne) pretended to miscarry of a 
son when she was not really with child at all, and how 
" to keep up the deceit she would allow no one to 
attend upon her but her sister," etc.* We may per- 
haps believe out of this that Anne had Mary Stafford 
with her at the time of her miscarriage. 

A suggestion of Clifford's story is to be found in 
Chapuys, who, in scouting the theory that Anne 
was frightened by the Duke of Norfolk, says that some 
attributed the accident to Anne's dread that " the 
King would treat her like the late Queen, especially 
considering the treatment shown to a lady of the 
Court, named Mistress Semel [sic], to whom, many 
say, he has lately made great presents. "| 

It is not unlikely that it was really Anne's chagrin 
over the King's attentions to Jane Seymour which 
caused the mishap, but that from policy she gave out 
that Norfolk's message had alarmed her. Chapuys was 
at this time receiving many pieces of information from 
various sources, about some of which he had his 
doubts. Writing on January 29th, but before he had 
heard of the miscarriage, he repeated a tale, on 
authority which he could not guarantee, that, not- 

* Letter of March ioth, 1536, already referred to on page 15. 
t Chapuys to the Emperor, February ioth, 1536. 


The Plot against Anne 


withstanding the joy she had shown over Katharine's 
death, Anne had frequently wept since, fearing lest 
they might do with her as they had done with Katha- 
rine. He was more inclined to trust what he had heard 
that very morning from the Exeters, who had it from 
one of the principal persons at Court, that " the King 
had said to someone in great confidence, and as it were 
in confession, that he had made this marriage seduced 
by witchcraft, and for that reason he considered it 
null ; and that this was evident, because God did 
not permit them to have male issue, and that he 
believed he might take another wife." 

It is very strange that this remark of Henry's should 
be reported on the day that the hope of male issue 
by Anne was finally dashed ; and one is tempted to 
believe that Chapuys accidentally ante-dated his 
letter, and so was quoting Henry's wrathful speech 
after he knew, but before people in general were aware, 
of what had happened. 

Of the King's brutal behaviour Chapuys gives us 
other information. On February 25th he narrates 
for the Emperor's benefit how he has heard from 
several courtiers that for over three months Henry 
had not spoken more than three times to Anne, and 
that when she miscarried he scarcely said anything 
to her, except that he saw clearly that God did not 
wish to give him male children by her ; and in leaving 
her he told her, spitefully, that he would speak to 
her after she got up. " The Concubine attributed 
her misfortune to two causes," concludes the ambassa- 
dor ; " first, the King's fall ; and, secondly, that the 
love she bore him was greater than the late Queen's, 
so that her heart broke when she saw that he loved 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

others — at which remark the King was much grieved, 
and has shown his sentiments by the fact that during 
these festive days [Shrovetide] he is here and has 
left her in Greenwich, whereas formerly he could not 
leave her for an hour." 

If Anne's real feelings towards her monstrous 
husband were such as she represented them by this 
comparison between her state and Katharine's, she 
becomes by it a more enigmatical creature than 
ever. She was undoubtedly a woman of brain and 
of force of character, which makes it difficult to believe 
that she could not appreciate the badness and the 
grossness of the man who was clearly preparing to 
cast her off. Did she now so cling to that which 
she was losing ? And if so, how did she pass the 
closing months of her life ? Henry, we know, with 
the aid of Cromwell and others who would pay any 
price for his favour, produced " evidence " at her 
trial that she indulged in promiscuous license. Bishop 
Burnet, who was not absolutely eulogistic of Anne, 
but took pains to study carefully a part of Henry's 
reign which was very important for his " History of 
the Reformation," says that she devoted herself to 
good works, that in her last nine months she dis- 
tributed between £14,000 and £15,000 to the poor,* 
and that shortly before her fall she was instrumental 
in urging Henry to order a new English translation 
of the Bible. Burnet's idea of her is that this charitable 
and religious side of her character was not incom- 
patible with a freedom of carriage, even levity, and 

* These figures are the same as those given by Lord Herbert of 
Cherbury, who mentions also " moneys intended by her towards raising 
a stock for poor artificers in the Realme." 

The Plot against Anne 


an innocent lack of discretion. At least, he quotes 
without disapproval the opinions of those who were 
willing to admit her lighter side, while maintaining 
that it was not guilty levity. 

The news of the disappointment which had befallen 
Anne the Queen was received with malignant joy 
by her hosts of enemies, not only in England, but 
abroad. It is typical of the bitterness of feeling to 
find Ortiz writing to the Empress from Rome that it 
is news to thank God for that la Ana had miscarried 
of a son ! Then we see Chapuys telling Granvelle 
of the progress of the King's new amour, with the 
installation of the lady's brother, Edward Seymour, 
as a gentleman of the privy chamber — which, we know, 
was designed to lead to other things. It is certainly 
odd that at this very period, March, 1536, the Emperor 
should write to Chapuys, suggesting that it might 
be well for him to make up to Anne and to counsel 
Mary to cease her hostile tone, as Henry might 
conceivably take to wife someone more dangerous 
than Anne. But the ambassador did not find it 
necessary to take his master's advice. The danger 
that Charles feared was a French princess as Henry's 
third wife, and it was not for such that Anne was 
being discarded. 

Among the guests at the ambassador's for dinner 
one day was Henry Pole, Lord Montague, who 
hinted at a new marriage soon, and intimated that 
Cromwell and the Queen were on bad terms. This 
inspired Chapuys with the idea of calling on the 
Chief Secretary, which he did after dinner on the 
last day of March. He describes the scene to the 
Emperor in a letter the following day. The two 

264 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

men sat down to converse on the window-seat, the 
Englishman with his head resting against the window, 
while he waited for the other to open proceedings. 
Chapuys began by saying that he had not paid a 
visit for some time, remembering what Cromwell 
had told him about Anne's suspicions, and how 
she would like to see his head cut off. He wished 
him a more gracious mistress and one more grateful 
for all his services to the King. With regard to the 
talk of a new marriage, that would be much to the 
King's advantage, as his present one would never 
be held lawful. It was true that a more lawful 
marriage, resulting in male issue, would prejudice 
the Princess Mary's claims; yet the affection which 
Chapuys felt for the King and the realm, and for 
Cromwell in particular, made him desire another 
mistress — not for any hatred of Anne, who had never 
done him any harm, he added. 

Cromwell took these remarks in good part, and 
explained that he had not been the cause of the 
Boleyn marriage, though, seeing the King determined 
on it, he had smoothed the way to it. Notwith- 
standing that His Majesty was still inclined to pay 
attention to ladies, he believed that henceforward 
he would live honourably and chastely, continuing 
in his marriage. Cromwell's tones were colourless, 
but he put his hand up to his mouth, as though con- 
cealing a smile. If there was to be another Queen, 
he concluded, it would not be a French one. 

So these two statesmen discussed the doomed 
woman, in whose death they were not a little instru- 
mental ; and then the Imperial ambassador made 
his way home to write out his gossip for Charles's eyes. 

The Plot against Anne 265 

In the same letter he told the familiar story how 
Jane Seymour by her virtuous demeanour (though 
Chapuys had his own ideas as to the possibility of 
any woman being virtuous at the Court of England) 
had inflamed the King so far that, to prove his inten- 
tions honourable, he would only converse with her 
in the rooms of her brother Edward and his wife, 
newly installed in the palace close to himself. He 
also told of her being coached by Anne's enemies 
to hold out for nothing less than marriage and to 
seize an opportunity of telling Henry how his present 
union was universally considered unlawful and detest- 
able. This latter she was to do in the company of 
some of the nobility, who would back up her statement 
on oath. The Marchioness of Exeter blandly suggested 
to Chapuys that he should be present on the occasion 
and add his word ; and the scheme struck him as a 
good one. 

Events began to move quickly, the Imperial 
ambassador being able to hasten their progress by 
the delivery of a favourable response from his master 
to Henry's overtures. The friendly nature of this 
was evidently more than suspected in advance of its 
delivery, for when Chapuys arrived at Greenwich 
on Easter Tuesday, April 18th, he was warmly received 
by all the Lords of the Council, including Rochford, 
and congratulated on the good service he had done 
in promoting a reconciliation. With Anne's brother 
he had a superficially most amicable conversation, 
though Chapuys records that he had difficulty in 
preventing Rochford from drawing him into 
" Lutheran discussions." 

The royal party was now going to Mass in the 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Palace chapel, and Cromwell came to Chapuys and 
asked him if he would not first kiss the Queen. The 
message was from Henry, who did not, however, insist 
upon it. The ambassador excused himself, on the 
ground that he ought to have his interview with the 
King first. Rochford was in attendance to conduct 
him to Mass. In the chapel, Chapuys narrates, 
" when the King came to the offering there was a great 
concourse of people, partly to see how the Concubine 
and I behaved to each other. She was courteous 
enough, for when I was behind the door by which 
she entered she turned back to do me such a reverence 
as I did her." 

Poor Anne had divined how the wind blew and 
tried to trim her sails ; but she was no match for the 
combined forces of Chapuys and her domestic enemies. 
After Mass came dinner, which the King had in her 
apartments, attended by the other ambassadors, but 
not by Chapuys, who dined in the presence-chamber 
with the courtiers. When Anne asked why the 
Imperial representative was not there, Henry replied 
that " it was not without good reason ; " and all 
she could do to show her new sympathies was to 
abuse the warlike policy of Francis, now engaged 
in Italian adventures hostile to the interests of Charles. 
She cannot yet have appreciated how much it meant 
to win the friendship of Chapuys, had that been 
possible ; but she did within a month, for when 
she was in the Tower, awaiting execution, she dated 
her downfall from this day of his visit to Greenwich, 
since which the King had regarded her with an evil 
eye * 

* Chapuys to Granvelle, May 19th, 1536. 

The Plot against Anne 


Dinner was followed by Henry's reception of 
Chapuys, nearly ruined by the King's grotesque 
bombast, which offended the ambassador and upset 
Cromwell, intent on an alliance with the Empire. 
Chapuys preserved his calm ; but Cromwell " took 
to his bed in pure sorrow " and absented himself 
from Court for four days. The consequences of this 
exhibition of Henry's vanity were extraordinary and 
certainly not to be foreseen, even by those who could 
fathom Cromwell's diabolical cunning. It does not 
seem possible, however, to doubt the statement of 
Chapuys that the Chief Secretary confessed to him 
later that it was when he had retired home, under 
stress of the King's displeasure and anger, that he " set 
himself thinking and planned the affair " — the removal 
of Anne and her chief friends.* 

Chapuys writes to Granvelle on April 24th that, 
in spite of the fact that he had neither kissed nor 
spoken to Anne, the Princess Mary and " other 
good persons " had been somewhat jealous over 
the incident of the mutual reverences between him 
and her in the chapel on Easter Tuesday. Politeness 
required them, he said ; though, if he had seen any 
hope from the King's answer in the afternoon, he 
would have offered not two but a hundred candles 
to the Devil or the she-devil ! But also he had been 
told that she was not in the favour of the King. 
Was it Cromwell who had told him ? Or the 
Marchioness of Exeter ? 

Two further points of interest we gather from the 
ambassador's voluminous letters at this time. The 
first is that the Earl of Wiltshire was clearly unaffected 

* Chapuys to the Emperor, June 6th, 1536. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

so far by the decline in his daughter's influence ; for 
he had just recently received from the King some 
fine grants from the spoils of the Church. The other 
is that Lord Rochford met with a great disappoint- 
ment on April 23rd. There was a vacancy among the 
Knights of the Garter by the death of Lord Aber- 
gavenny, and the Queen's brother had confidently 
looked forward to its falling to him. But on St. 
George's Day the Garter was conferred not on him, 
but on Sir Nicholas Carew, Master of the Horse, who 
was a prominent enemy of the Boleyns, and a friend 
of the Seymour interest. Chapuys writes to the 
Emperor (on April 29th) that M it will not be the 
fault of this Master of the Horse if the Concubine 
be dismounted. He continually counsels Mistress 
Seymour and other conspirators ; and only four days 
ago he sent to tell the Princess Mary to be of good 
cheer, for shortly the opposite party would put water 
in their wine, the King being already as sick and tired 
of the Concubine as he could be." 

All was ready for the delivery of the last blow ; 
and Cromwell rose from his bed of chagrin to deliver it. 



THOMAS CROMWELL came back to Court with 
the scheme which he had worked out to restore 
his credit with the King. He was a desperate man, 
for whom there was no medium between the control 
of affairs and the scaffold. Having identified himself 
with the Imperialist cause, he stood to lose all by a 
revival of French influence, favoured by the Duke of 
Norfolk. His slights to the Boleyns — at least to the 
Queen and her brother — made a renewed alliance 
with them impossible. The only hope was friendship 
with the Seymours and their supporters ; and the 
danger was that they might accomplish their ends 
without his help. As Friedmann has pointed out, 
it was easy for anyone to get Henry a divorce from 
Anne, so as to clear the way for his marriage with 
Jane. But a mere divorce would leave the nucleus 
of a powerful party in Anne and Rochford, with their 
fortunes intact and a great body of friends among 
I those of Reform sympathies. Wiltshire did not 
matter, money being his chief interest now. If Anne 
and Rochford could be entirely removed, and terror 
struck into the hearts of their friends, the Boleyn 
influence would be done with for ever. 

What Cromwell proposed to the King was the 
appointment of a body of commissioners to make 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

inquiry into every kind of treason, by whomsoever 
committed, and to hold a special session for the trial 
of offenders. It is impossible to suppose that Henry 
was unaware at whom these extraordinary powers 
were to be aimed. He was a coward, and always sus- 
picious of treason ; but he was not likely to give to 
a minister, who was practically in disgrace, if only 
for a few days past, a blank cheque of such a kind 
without having a very good idea of its object. When 
on April 24th he signed the " commission of oyer and 
terminer," giving the powers asked for to Lord Chan- 
cellor Audley, the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the 
Earl of Wiltshire and numerous other peers, Cromwell 
himself, and the nine judges, Henry must have had 
some intimation from his Chief Secretary that here 
was a way by which he might effectually get rid of 
Anne Boleyn. He was tired of her, and any means 
to so good an end were welcome. 

The commission was naturally kept secret until 
Cromwell was ready to act upon it. The only sugges- 
tion we have that there was a suspicion of anything 
being on foot is that on May 2nd Chapuys told the 
Emperor that for some days past he had been informed, 
on good authority, of the King's determination to 
abandon Anne ; but this is too vague to build upon, 
for the mere abandonment of Anne had long been 
discussed at Court. 

May Day, 1536, dawned at Greenwich without the 
appearance of a special threat to the Queen, who 
accompanied her husband to the tilt-yard. Here, 
writes Wriothesley, was " a great jousting, where was 
chalengers my Lord of Rochforde and others, and 
defenders Mr. Noris and others." He makes no 

The Mine Explodes 


mention of a sudden departure of the King during the 
jousting. Stow the chronicler is perhaps the first 
author of that story, making Henry depart in a hurry 
to Westminster, having with him six persons only, 
" of which men marvelled." Then the tale grew of 
Anne, seated in the royal gallery, dropping a hand- 
kerchief, which one of the j ousters picked up, to wipe 
his face ; and of Henry, espying this, quitting the 
gallery, mounting his horse, and galloping off to 
Westminster. It is at least suspicious that the well- 
informed Wriothesley, who pays special attention to 
the final tragedy of Anne, has no apparent knowledge 
of Henry's strange procedure. If Henry actually 
left the tilt-yard early, it is likely that he did so on 
receipt of a message from Cromwell, as, indeed, one 
account says. The tale of the dropped handkerchief 
was a natural piece of embroidery by Anne's enemies. 
Sanders, of course, accepted it and gave it wide 
currency among later historians. 

Whatever we may believe of the tilt-yard affair, we 
know that Cromwell, coiled for a spring since 
April 24th, struck on May 1st. On the morning of 
the latter day he gave an invitation to dinner — or, 
as we should say, lunch — to a certain Mark Smeaton, 
often called Marks, a good-looking* young man of 
no birth, groom of the chamber to Henry, who had 

* " Queen Mary would never call [Elizabeth] sister, nor be persuaded 
she was her father's daughter. She would say she had the face and 
countenance of Mark Sweton [sic], who was a very handsome man." 
This fine example of malignity is to be found in Clifford's " Life of Jane 
Dormer," page 80. Yet by other accounts, Smeaton had been at Court 
little over three months. 

Cavendish, in one of his doggerel metrical versions (" Life of Wolsey," 
Vol. II., p. 36), says that Smeaton was a carpenter's son and had been 
a singing boy in the Cardinal's chapel. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

attracted attention by his skill at music. Whether 
Anne had first discovered his talent or not, she had 
certainly had him to play for her ; and it would appear 
that she had given him sums of money — which she 
was in the habit of doing in what she considered 
worthy cases. Smeaton arrived to dinner with Crom- 
well at Stepney, and was at once seized by his host's 
servants and put under examination. To make this 
effective, Cromwell used the torture of the knotted 
cord and a stick round Smeaton's head and extracted 
from him the M confession " he wanted ; presumably 
that not only had he received money from the Queen, 
but that he had committed adultery with her, and 
that others had done so too. 

After this achievement (the account of which is 
quite plausibly given in " The Spanish Chronicle of 
Henry VIII.," translated by Mr. Hume*), Cromwell 
dispatched the miserable Smeaton to the Tower, 
while he sent word to the King at Greenwich. When 
he left the jousts, never to set eyes on Anne again, 
Henry started to ride for Westminster with a few 
companions, including Sir Henry Norris, long time 
a favourite of his and chief of his privy chamber. 
At the same time Norris was a good friend of both 
the Queen and Lord Rochford, with whom he was 
naturally much in contact, and whose Reforming 
views he shared. Evidently Smeaton under torture 
had implicated Norris, for suddenly the King taxed 
him with undue intimacy with the Queen. Norris 

* This is confirmed by the curious " Memorial " of George Constan- 
tyne to Cromwell (" Archaeologia," Vol. XXII.), except that Constan- 
tyne says that " Markys " was at Stepney under examination on May 
even and was in the Tower on May Day. " The saying is he confessed, 
but he was first grievously racked." 

The Mine Explodes 


made an indignant denial. Henry offered him a 
free pardon if he would confess ; but Norris declared 
that he would rather die than be guilty of such a 
falsehood, and was ready to prove it false in combat 
with anyone. According to Constantyne, who was 
in Norris's employ, Henry kept him under examina- 
tion all the way back to Westminster. He still held 
out, and on arrival in London was given in charge of 
Sir William Fitzwilliam, the Treasurer, and conducted 
to the Tower. Then, either with or without the other 
members of the commission, Fitzwilliam returned to 
Greenwich to deal with Anne. 

It would seem that the chief victim of Cromwell's 
machinations heard of the arrest of Smeaton and 
Norris the same night, and she may have received 
also the warning that she must appear before the com- 
missioners next day. Her own half-delirious account 
of the meeting, given to Sir William Kingston, Governor 
of the Tower,* was roughly this : "I was cruelly 
handled at Greenwich, with the King's Council and my 
Lord of Norfolk, who said 1 Tut, tut, tut,' shaking 
his head three or four times. As for Master Treasurer, 
he was in the forest of Windsor [sc., rambling]. Master 
Controller [Sir William Paulet] was a gentleman. But 
I to be a Queen and to be cruelly handled was never 
seen ! " The cruel handling appears to refer to lan- 
guage only ; but that was bad enough, for the com- 
missioners told her that both Smeaton and Norris 
had confessed to adultery with her, and that she must 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. X., in which are tran- 
scripts of all Kingston's letters to Cromwell about Anne at the Tower, 
the mutilated originals being among the Cottonian MSS. in the British 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

prepare to go by barge to the Tower. Gleefully 
Chapuys writes to the Emperor the same day how the 
affair has come to pass much better than anyone could 
have believed, and how the wretched woman whom 
he had so often traduced and abused had, " by the 
judgment of God," been brought in full daylight 
from Greenwich to the Tower, under the conduct 
of Norfolk and the two chamberlains, with only four 
women in attendance on her. " How wonderful it is 
to think of the sudden change from yesterday to 
to-day ! " he exclaims. 

According to Wriothesley, it was 5 p.m. when Anne 
was brought to the Tower ; but no doubt there were 
sufficient witnesses along the river of her humilia- 
tion. Guarded by her hated uncle Norfolk, and with 
the company only of an unfriendly aunt, the wife of 
Sir James Boleyn, and three others (Mrs. Cosyns, Mrs. 
Stoner and an unnamed), none of whom were agree- 
able to her, she may well have thought of her progress 
in the same month of May, only three years ago, 
amid the most gorgeous pageantry that King Henry 
— and Cromwell — could furnish in her honour. A 
reminder of her earlier visit to the Tower was also 
waiting for her in the person of Sir William Kingston ; 
but he waited at another gate this time, the Traitors' 
Gate. We follow Kingston's account of what followed. 

When Norfolk and the other commissioners had 
left, Kingston prepared to lead Anne to her lodging. 
'* Master Kingston," she asked, " shall I go into a 
dungeon ? " " No, Madam, you shall go into the 
lodging you lay in at your coronation." "It is too 
good for me. Jesu, have mercy on me ! " exclaimed 
she, and knelt down, weeping fast. Then, in the midst 

The Mine Explodes 


of her sorrow, she fell into a great laughing, which, 
Kingston comments, she has done several times since. 

Kingston, who was a spy upon her as well as her 
gaoler, apparently did not understand Anne's hysteria 
— " the mother," M the vapours," as Burnet calls 
it — but he continued to note her conduct for the 
benefit of Cromwell. She desired that he would 
move the King to let her have the Sacrament by her, 
that she might pray for mercy ; " for I am as clear 
from the company of men, as for sin, as I am clear 
from the company of you," she told him, " and am 
the King's true wedded wife." Later she asked after 
her father, whom Kingston had seen that morning 
at the Court ; and her brother, whom Kingston had 
left at York Place. " And so I did," remarks Kingston 
to Cromwell ; but he knew well enough that Lord 
Rochford had been brought from York Place to the 
Tower some hours before his sister. 

Then Anne went off into a series of disjointed 
remarks, all noted by Kingston. " I hear I shall be 
accused with four men," she began, " and I can say 
no more but Nay — without I should open my body " 
(throwing open her gown). 14 Oh, Norris, hast thou 
accused me ? Thou art in the Tower with me, and 
thou and I shall die together ; and, Mark, thou art 
here too ! . . . Oh, my mother, thou wilt die with 
sorrow ! " Suddenly she asked : " Master Kingston, 
shall I die without justice ? " " The poorest subject 
of the King hath justice," replied Kingston — at 
which it is not surprising to hear that Anne laughed. 

The night on which Anne was taken to the Tower, 
we learn from Chapuys that, when his natural son 
the Duke of Richmond went to say good-night to 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

his father and to ask his blessing, Henry began to 
weep, saying that the Duke and his sister Mary might 
well thank God for having escaped from the hands 
of that accursed and venomous harlot, who had tried 
to poison them. It suited His Majesty that the 
legend of Anne the poisoner should flourish now ! 

The next morning, May 3rd, the spying was resumed, 
and Mrs. Cosyns took a hand, having been sent with 
Anne to the Tower for that purpose. In fact, Kingston 
had set her and Lady Boleyn to lie on the pallet in 
Anne's room ; he and his wife lay at her door, and the 
other two women were without. Mrs. Cosyns ex- 
tracted from her the information that Norris had 
said on the previous Sunday to her almoner that he 
" would swear for the Queen that she was a good 
woman." " Madam," asked Mrs. Cosyns, " why should 
there be any such matters spoken of ? " " Marry, 
I bade him do so," replied Anne, " for I asked him why 
he did not go on with his marriage [to her cousin Mar- 
garet Shelton] and he made answer he would tarry a 
time. Then I said, 1 You look for dead men's shoes, 
for if ought come to the King but good you would look 
to have me.' And he said if he had had any such 
thought he would his head were off. And then I said I 
could undo him if I would ; and therewith we fell out." 

The following passage in the manuscript of Kings- 
ton's letter is mutilated, but has been interpreted 
as indicating that Anne told Mrs. Cosyns that she told 
Norris that Weston told her that Norris came more to 
see her than his supposed sweetheart Madge, i.e., 
Margaret Shelton. The point of this is that at the 
end of Kingston's letter of May 3rd is a postscript 
to the effect that the Queen spoke to him of Weston, 

The Mine Explodes 


i.e., Sir Francis Weston, a young married man, who 
had been made Knight of the Bath at her coronation, 
and said that she had remonstrated with him for 
loving her cousin Margaret more than his wife ; whereon 
he replied that he loved one in her house better than 
either of them. When challenged, he replied "It is 
yourself." And then " she defied him, as she said 
to me," writes Kingston. 

There would be no object in going into these glean- 
ings by Cromwell's agents in the Tower, if it were not 
that the only evidence against Anne that merits any 
attention is such as Kingston collected while she was 
his prisoner. We give a few more excerpts from 
Kingston's store : 

" For one hour she is determined to die, and the 
next hour much the contrary. Yesterday after your 
[Cromwell's] departing, I sent for my wife and Mrs. 
Cosyns, to know how they had done that day. They 
said she had been very merry and had made a great 
dinner, and yet soon after she called for her supper." 
She asked for Kingston, and when he came to see her 
told him the story of her ordeal at Greenwich on the 
morning of May 2nd, adding, " But I think the King 
does it to prove me ! " (Poor credulous one !) 

" I would to God I had my bishops," she said, " for 
they would all go to the King for me, for I think the 
most part of England prays for me, and if I die you 
shall see the greatest punishment for me within this 
seven-year that ever came to England. And then shall 
I be in Heaven, for I have done many good deeds." 

" I hear say my lord my brother is here," she said. 
"It is truth," replied Kingston. "I am very glad 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

we both be so nigh together." And when he told 
her that Weston and Brereton were also in the Tower 
she showed good countenance. 

Mrs. Stoner having remarked that Mark Smeaton 
was the worst cherished man in the Tower, for he wore 
irons, Anne answered : " That is because he is no 
gentleman. But he never was in my chamber but 
at Winchester, and there I sent for him to play on the 
virginals, for my lodging was over the King's. . . . 
I never spoke with him since but upon Saturday before 
May Day, and then I found him standing in the round 
window of my chamber of presence. I asked him 
why he was so sad, and he answered it was no matter ; 
and then I said, * You may not look to have me speak 
to you as I should do to a nobleman, because you are 
an inferior person.' ' No, no, Madam, a look sufficeth 
me, and so fare you well ! ' " 

" She hath asked my wife [Lady Kingston] whether 
anybody makes their beads, and my wife answered, 
' Nay, I warrant you ! ' Then she said, ' They might 
make ballads well now ; but there is none but (? 
my Lord Rochford) that can do it.' ' Yes,' said my 
wife, ' Master Wyatt . . .' * True . . . my lord 
my brother will die.' "* 


To us these speeches have the sound of a woman 
distraught, a savour of Ophelia. To Cromwell they 
were to provide material to bring their utterer to death, 
and with her her friends ; for it cannot be maintained 

* This is a fairly hopeless passage, in view of the mutilation of the 
manuscript. We must remember, however, that Lord Rochford was 
a poet, and one of those whose works were included in " Tottel's 
Miscellany," though his contributions cannot be identified. 

The Mine Explodes 


that there was a scrap of other evidence preserved 
which can be regarded seriously to prove their guilt 
— a matter to which we shall return. But we must 
now stop to note some of the import of these ravings 
in the Tower. 

Lord Rochford, we have said, was arrested earlier 
on the same day as his sister, and there was no idea, 
when he was arrested, that he was going to be charged 
with anything further than connivance at his sister's 
misdoings. On May 4th Sir Francis Weston, on the 
strength apparently of what Anne had said to Kings- 
ton, and William Brereton, a gentleman of the King's 
privy chamber, on unknown grounds, were sent to 
join him ; and on the following day, if not on the same, 
Thomas Wyatt and a certain Master (or Sir Richard) 
Page, another gentleman of the King's privy chamber. 

The widening of the net was obviously due to the 
failure to extract anything except from Smeaton. 
While the male prisoners still numbered only three, 
Anne's vice-chamberlain, Sir Edward Baynton, who 
had been easily brought over to the opposition, wrote 
to Fitzwilliam that people were talking of the fact 
that " no one will confess anything, but only Mark, 
of any actual thing. It would, in my foolish conceit," 
he adds, " much touch the King's honour if it should 
no further appear. I cannot but believe that the 
other two are as fully culpable as he, but they keep 
each other's counsel. I think much of the communica- 
tion which took place on the last occasion between the 
Queen and Master Norres [what Anne had told Mrs. 
Cosyns]. ... I hear further that Jthe Queen standeth 
stiffly in her opinion that she will not be convicted, 
which I think is in the trust she hath in the other two." 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Accordingly four more were arrested j and at the 
same time every attempt was made to get Anne's 
servants at Greenwich to speak against her, Baynton 
being much annoyed that a certain Margery, whom 
he had befriended, was acting strangely toward him. 
She would not accuse her mistress, he means. 

It is assumed that Brereton, Wyatt and Page were 
seized through something Anne said in her delirium ; 
but the mutilated state of the Kingston letters does 
not enable us to state definitely what this may have 
been. Wyatt had a bitter enemy in the Duke of 
Suffolk, as we have seen ; and tales were spread later 
that he had been induced to make some sort of con- 
fession of earlier intimacy with Anne. Then there 
are two letters from his father, Sir Henry, one to his 
son and one to Cromwell, which show that in some way 
the Secretary befriended the younger Wyatt at the 
time. But the fact remains that Wyatt's name, 
like Page's, was entirely absent from the indictments 
finally brought against Anne, while every kind of 
charge that could be twisted against her was used. 
He was in danger, as is shown by his poem beginning : 
" You that in love find luck and abundance," which 
clearly refers to the events of May, 1536 ; but that he 
escaped is fair evidence that the danger was not very 
great.* He was very soon in favour with the King 
again, trusted and before long knighted. 

* I cannot share Mr. Hume's belief in the trustworthiness of the tale 
in the Spanish "Chronicle of Henry VIII." that Wyatt, confronted 
now with Cromwell, asked him to remind the King of a warning which 
he had given him about Anne before the marriage — and so got off. 
No doubt, however, the Spanish writer accurately reports some gossip 
of the day; and he was naturally not concerned whether Wyatt 
appeared a blackguard or not. 


The Mine Explodes 


It might have been expected that one man would 
have made an attempt to intercede for Anne, the chief 
among " her bishops," Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop 
of Canterbury. What happened in fact is that on 
May 2nd, being in the country, Cranmer received a 
summons from Cromwell to return to Lambeth. 
There next morning he began to write a letter to the 
King, which was not a remarkably strong piece of 
advocacy. " If the reports of the Queen be true," 
he said, " they are only to her dishonour, not yours. 
I am clean amazed, for I never had better opinion of 
woman ; but I think Your Highness would not have 
gone so far if she had not been culpable. ... I loved 
her not a little for the love which I judged her to 
bear towards God and His Gospel. ... I trust you 
will bear no less zeal to the Gospel than you did before, 
as your favour to the Gospel was not led by affection 
to her." 

As he was finishing this letter, Cranmer received a 
summons to appear before the Council. What passed 
there we do not know ; but he came back to 
Lambeth and wrote : "I am sorry such faults can be 
proved against the Queen as they report." His 
subsequent action with regard to his hapless patroness 
can cause no surprise. It seems hardly necessary 
to insert Cranmer's name, as has been suggested, in a 
list of saints of the English Church. 

While Cromwell and his agents were busy manu- 
facturing evidence against his wife, the injured Henry 
was seeking distraction. Writing to the Emperor 
on May 19th, Chapuys tells of the King's gaiety, 
his round of banquets with ladies of the Court, at this 
house and that, and his returns at midnight along the 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Thames, with divers instruments of music playing 
on his barge. On one night he was received, with 
attendant ladies, at supper by John Kite, Bishop of 
Carlisle. We must presume His Majesty was in- 
ebriated ; for he told the Bishop he had long expected 
what was happening, and he pulled out a tragedy which 
he had composed on the subject. To his credit, the 
Bishop would not look at it. 

Jane Seymour, out of respect for her modesty, had 
been kept during the first days of the affair at Sir 
Nicholas Carew's house ; but on May 14th, the day 
before Anne's trial, she was lodged within a mile of 
York Place, waited on by royal officials and cooks, 
and overwhelmed with gifts from the King. At last 
public decency was aroused, and before Anne's death 
Henry succeeded in creating for her a sympathy which 
had never been hers before. He even ended by 
stirring Eustache Chapuys to a sense that " the Concu- 
bine " merited a little more regard. 



ON May ioth and nth respectively the grand 
juries of Middlesex and Kent, sitting at West- 
minster and Deptford, had before them the indictments 
which the King's advisers had worked up against 
the prisoners in the Tower ; or at least against six 
of them, for no charges were brought against Wyatt 
and Page. Adultery with the Queen was alleged 
against Smeaton, Norris, Weston, Brereton, and, 
most terrible of all, Lord Rochford, who, as we have 
heard, was at first only accused of conniving at his 
sister's misconduct. In addition a charge of con- 
spiring the King's death was now brought. The 
wording of this latter charge is noteworthy. It 
was put forward that, on October 31st, 1535, at 
Westminster, and on January 8th, 1536, at East 

"The said Queen and these other traitors . . . 
conspired the King's death and destruction, the 
Queen often saying she would marry one of them 
as soon as the King died, and affirming that she 
would never love the King in her heart. And the 
King having a short time since become aware of 
the said abominable crimes and treasons against 
himself took such inward displeasure and heaviness, 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

especially from the said Queen's malice and adul- 
tery, that certain harms and perils have befallen 
his royal body." 

The genuineness of the King's grief may be judged 
by what we have just seen of his gaiety and carous- 
ing with the ladies of his Court. The dates assigned 
to these acts of conspiracy could only be explained 
if we had a full account of the proceedings at the 
preliminary and final trials, which we have not. It 
is scarcely necessary to point out that the death of 
Henry would have been absolutely fatal to Anne, 
either before or after that of Katharine. 

With regard to the other charges, Smeaton's torture- 
wrung confession was put in ; and the obedient 
grand juries found true bills against all the prisoners. 
On May 12th the royal commissioners sat in West- 
minster Hall to deal with the cases of Norris, Weston, 
Brereton and Smeaton. The Lord Chancellor pre- 
sided, and the Earl of Wiltshire was present with 
the rest. The indictments were brought and the 
evidence produced (which we shall leave for the 
present), and a jury of twelve was empanelled. 
Smeaton had pleaded guilty to adultery, but not 
to treason ; the other three, not guilty on both counts- 
The expected verdict was given — even if it had 
not been a packed jury, no other verdict could have 
been dared — and all four prisoners were condemned 
to the horrible death inflicted on traitors in those 

On the following day the Duke of Norfolk, Lord 
High Steward of England for the occasion, issued 
a precept summoning twenty-six selected peers for 
the trial of the Queen and her brother at the Tower 

Trial and Death 


two days hence. Cromwell wrote to Gardiner and 
Sir John Wallop, the English representatives in 
France, in the interval and prophesied that the ver- 
dict would undoubtedly go the same way. His 
letter* is very interesting as giving the official view 
of how the discovery was made of the dreadful 

The Queen's incontinent living was " so rank and 
common," he says, that the ladies of her privy chamber 
could not conceal it. It came to the ears of some 
of the Council, who told His Majesty, although in 
great fear. Certain persons of the privy chamber 
and others of her side were examined, and the matter 
appeared so evident that, besides that crime, " there 
brake out a certain conspiracy of the King's death, 
which extended so far that all we that had the ex- 
amination of it quaked at the danger His Grace was 

A very pretty effort at a plausible explanation 
by the self-confessed author of the plot ! 

Another curious point emerges concerning Crom- 
well's activities on the King's behalf. On May 13th 
he sent to the Earl of Northumberland, then residing 
at Newington Green, Sir Reynold Carnaby, who 
was known as a friend of his, to try to extract from 
him an admission that Anne had been precontracted 
to him. But Northumberland, who was already 
in the grip of the illness which was to carry him off 
next year, declined to make the admission, writing 
to Cromwell that he had long ago been examined 
on the matter before both Archbishops and had 
taken the Sacrament that there had never been a 

* " Letters and Papers, Henry VIII.,"- Vol. X. Letter of May 14th. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

precontract. The significance of this attempt by 
Cromwell will appear a little later. 

On Monday, May 15th, came the trials of Anne 
and of Rochford in the Tower, the twenty-six chosen 
peers taking their seats in the great hall, under the 
presidency of the Duke of Norfolk, and Anne, whose 
case was to be tried first, having a seat on the plat- 
form facing them. The Lord Mayor and other re- 
presentatives of the City were present, and a large 
crowd, stated by Chapuys to have numbered two 
thousand, was admitted to the body of the court. 
By this publicity Henry and Cromwell no doubt 
intended to advertise the perfect fairness of the pro- 
ceedings ; but they were destined to realize their 

The formal indictments were brought, which had 
already made their appearance before the grand 
juries of Middlesex and Kent and at the trial of Norris 
and his three companions on May 12th. These 
are preserved at the Record Office, having been 
found again after they had been lost from view for 
about three hundred years, and are reproduced 
in an Appendix to the Camden Society's edition of 
Wriothesley's " Chronicle of England under the 
Tudors." They are written in execrable legal Latin, 
and, apart from their tediousness, are unfit for publi- 
cation. But it may be stated that they are in no 
way evidence, being simply a string of statements 
that Anne, at such and such a date, at some place 
either in Middlesex or Kent, incited one of the other 
accused to commit adultery and that at a subsequent 
date the act took place. The charges range from 
October, 1533, to April, 1536, and involve miscon- 

Trial and Death 


duct a month after the birth of Elizabeth and a 
month before the mishap of January 29th, 1536, as 
Friedmann took the pains to work out. Some of 
them can be definitely traced to Anne's ravings 
during the first days in the Tower. However, they 
need not detain us. They were either foul inven- 
tions, or they were capable of being supported by 
real evidence. The remaining charge, of conspiring 
the King's death, we have seen. It bears its re- 
futation on its face. 

The question remains, What evidence was put 
in to substantiate these egregious indictments ? We 
have unfortunately only hearsay upon which to 
go, some strictly contemporary and some later in 
date. We may proceed to examine such of this 
as appears worthy of notice. 

We have seen that Cromwell, in his letter to 
Gardiner and Wallop, spoke of the ladies of her privy 
chamber being unable to conceal the Queen's in- 
continent living. When Bishop Burnet, in his " His- 
tory of the Reformation," came to deal with the subject 
of Anne Boleyn's fall, devoting more than ordinary 
pains to learn all he could concerning it, as he tells 
us, as being " one of the most memorable passages 
of this reign," he speaks of " the learned Spelman, 
who was a judge at that time " and a commonplace 
book which Spelman kept. In that Spelman wrote, 
" As for the evidence of this matter, it was discovered 
by the Lady Wingfield, who had been a servant to 
the Queen, and, becoming on a sudden infirm some 
time before her death, did swear this matter to 
her . . ." At that point, unhappily, the manuscript 
was torn, and Burnet could give no more. Now 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

we know that a Lady Wingfield was a friend of Anne's 
before her elevation to the throne.* But we know 
little more ; and, as Lady Wingfield' s name does 
not crop up at all in contemporary talk about the 
trial, we may abandon this line of investigation. 

Examinations had been made of Anne's still living 
servants, or ladies in waiting, at Greenwich Palace, 
including the disappointing Margery ; but not a 
word comes out of what they had to say, unless it 
be that the monstrous charge that Rochford had 
once stayed long in his sister's room, with a certain im- 
plication, was based on their reports. Perhaps, too, 
the inconsequent remarks which Anne had made 
in the Tower about Norris, Weston, and Smeaton 
were prompted by suggestions by the ladies Cosyns 
and Stoner — that is, indeed, fairly obvious — and 
then substantiated by statements of others. But 
if so we do not find it stated. 

The prosecution for the King, having no restraint 
put upon them, introduced much into their conduct 
of the case which had nothing to do with the in- 
dictments, such as that the Queen and her brother 
were in the habit of ridiculing Henry to one another, 
decrying his literary achievements, his dress, etc. ; 
and Anne was alleged to have told Lady Rochford 
that the King was impotent, while Rochford himself 
was charged with casting doubt upon Elizabeth's 

* There is a letter addressed to Lady Wingfield by Anne, signing 
herself "Your own assured friend during my life, Anne Rochford." 
Miss Strickland wrongly assigns this letter to 1525, thinking that a 
"trouble" mentioned in it must refer to the death of Sir Richard 
Wingfield. That is an unnecessary assumption ; and Anne was not 
officially known as Lady Anne Rochford until the end of 1529, when 
her father was made Earl of Wiltshire. 

Trial and Death 


paternity. These accusations seem rather to have 
come up at Rochford's trial than Anne's, but may 
be dealt with here. With regard to what Anne was 
likely to say to Lady Rochford, it must be remem- 
bered that they belonged to rival camps, Lady Roch- 
ford, in fact, being on very doubtful terms with her 
husband as well. Kingston relates in one of his 
letters to Cromwell that she sent a friendly message 
to Rochford in the Tower, and said that she would 
humbly sue the King on his behalf ; but it was 
commonly supposed afterwards that she had de- 
nounced him and Anne,* which partly helped to 
gain for her the name of M the infamous Lady 

It is time to leave these sordid allegations of the 
prosecution and come to the conduct of the defend- 
ants. Anne behaved herself with great dignity, from 
all accounts, and was never more a Queen than now. 
She denied all the charges against her, and made 
an excellent impression. But it was not a question 
of justice. The King demanded a condemnation, 
and when the twenty-six peers, beginning with the 
youngest present, were called upon to record their 
verdicts, every one said Guilty. It may be noted 
that the Earl of Wiltshire was spared the ignominy 
of serving on the jury. The Earl of Northumberland 
was there, and had to sign with the rest, but was 
then so overcome by illness that he could not take 
part in Rochford's trial. 

* She lost no time, however, in writing to Cromwell, making an 
appeal for herself as " a power desolat widow." There also survives a 
letter from the Earl of Wiltshire to Cromwell, in which he most re- 
luctantly agrees to increase his allowance to his daughter-in-law, bid- 
ding Cromwell tell the King " I do this alonely for his pleasure." 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

It was Norfolk's lot to pronounce sentence upon 
his niece — Constantyne says that " the water ronne " 
in his eyes, which we hope was true — that she should 
be burnt or beheaded, at the King's pleasure. On 
hearing it, Chapuys writes, " the Concubine pre- 
served her composure, saying that she entirely wel- 
comed death, and that what she regretted most was 
that persons who were innocent and loyal to the 
King were to die through her ; all she asked was 
for a short time to make her soul." 

The French verse history of Anne Boleyn, to which 
we have alluded earlier in this volume, says that 
her face did not change, but she appealed to God 
whether the sentence was deserved ; then, turning 
to the judges, she said she would not dispute with 
them ; but she believed there was some other reason 
for which she was condemned than the cause alleged, 
of which her conscience acquitted her, for she had 
always been faithful to the King. But she did not 
say this to save her life, as she was quite prepared 
to die. " Her speech made even her bitterest enemies 
pity her," adds the writer, who is far from being a 
partisan of the Queen. 

Rochford's trial followed immediately, and he too 
defended himself with dignity and courage. He 
successfully rebutted the vile charge of incest ; and 
odds were laid, " and that great odds," says Constan- 
tyne, that he would be acquitted, until a certain 
incident occurred. A note was handed to him by 
the prosecution to answer. The question was whether 
his sister had ever told his wife that the King was 
impotent. Rochford read it out aloud, which he 
was not intended to do. This, it was supposed, 

Trial and Death 


sealed his doom. An unanimous verdict of guilty 
was returned, and he was sentenced to a traitor's 
death. He took it calmly, saying that since he must 
die, he would no longer protest his innocence, but 
would acknowledge he deserved to die ; he only 
begged the King to allow his debts to be paid out 
of his goods. As has been frequently pointed 
out by the historians, to refuse to acknowledge that 
death was deserved would have involved forfeiture 
of goods to the Crown. 

For the men, the farce was played out, except 
for the curtain on Tower Green. Only Anne had 
a fresh torture to go through first. On the day 
following her trial, Cranmer came to visit her in 
prison. What happened at their interview remains 
a secret, except that Anne was induced to admit 
the existence of an impediment to her marriage 
with Henry, which rendered it null and her daughter 
Elizabeth, if still Henry's child, a bastard. Had 
Northumberland been willing to say there had been 
a precontract between Anne and himself, this would 
have been unnecessary ; but he would not. Therefore 
it was necessary to get some other admission from 
Anne, which could be used by Cranmer on Henry's 
behalf without its exact nature being publicly divulged. 
Friedmann's conjecture as to what this was seems 
to have satisfactorily solved the puzzle, and has 
been accepted by most writers since, that Anne should 
allow the impediment caused by her sister's previous 
illicit connection with the King, which brought herself 
within the prohibited degrees of affinity to him. The 
immaculate Henry could not admit this himself, 
nor appeal to common knowledge at Court. Anne' 



The Life of Anne Boleyn 

help would get over the difficulty. She gave it, and 
imagined apparently that it would gain her a reprieve ; 
for that day at dinner she talked to her attendants 
about going to a nunnery.* But she had only been 
tricked. Cranmer proceeded to declare Henry's 
second marriage null, on account of a certain un- 
named impediment ; thus making Elizabeth, like Mary, 
illegitimate. The King could now marry Jane Seymour 
without danger of a rival to her future issue by him. 

On the morning of May 17th the execution was 
carried out of Anne's pretended paramours. By the 
excellent mercy of the King, they were not called 
upon to suffer the worst ignominies of the traitor's 
death — hanging, drawing and quartering. They were 
simply beheaded, including even the humble Smeaton j 
for the version that he was hanged seems inaccurate . In 
turn Lord Rochford, Norris, Weston, Brereton and 
Smeaton laid their heads upon the block. They were 
allowed the usual dying speeches beforehand ; but 
accounts, though there are several, vary as to their 
words. Rochford, according to Wriothesley, spoke at 
some length, the gist being that he came not to preach 
a sermon, but to die as the law had condemned. He 
desired his hearers to trust in God, not in the vanities 
of the world. If he himself had been as diligent 
to observe the Word of God and to do and live there- 
after as he had been to read it and set it forth, he 
would not be where he was. Chapuys's version is 
that Rochford disclaimed all that he was charged 
with, confessing, however, that he had deserved 
death for having so been contaminated and so con- 

* " A nonre," as Kingston spells it in his letter to Cromwell that day, 
May 1 6th, 1536. 

Trial and Death 


taminating others with these new sects, and he prayed 
everyone to abandon such heresies. 

Chapuys, while making Rochford protest his inno- 
cence of the charges brought against him, is evidently 
anxious to make him recant his Lutheranism, which 
the other versions of the speech do not represent 
him as doing. Constantyne, who professes to have 
been present at the execution, gives an account very 
similar to Wriothesley's ; and, as the two writers 
were poles asunder in their religious opinions, we 
may do best by accepting their versions. If so, 
the gay, brilliant young courtier, poet and diplomatist, 
made an edifying end, but with his religious 
sympathies unchanged. 

At least he died bravely. So did Norris and Weston, 
who said practically nothing on the scaffold, and 
Brereton. According to Constantyne, the last (who 
had been a schoolfellow of his) said : " I have de- 
served to die, if it were a thousand deaths. But 
the cause wherefore I die, judge ye not. But if ye 
judge, judge the best ! " No suggestion of admission 
of guilt came from any of them. The wretched 
Smeaton's words are given by Constantyne as 
" Masters, I pray you all pray for me, for I have 
deserved the death." 

When she heard that Smeaton had failed to exon- 
erate her, Anne was said to have exclaimed : " Hath 
he not then cleared me of the shame he hath brought 
upon me ? Alas ! I fear his soul will suffer ! "* 
But Smeaton, even if he had been a brave man, would 

* This is stated both by the French poem on Anne's life and in 
Meteren's " Histoire des Pays Bas," to which Burnet attached some 
authority. The words are not given elsewhere. 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

have had to be very brave to withdraw his " con- 
fession " when in the executioner's hands. It was 
not too late to inflict on him the full penalty of treason. 

According to Chapuys, Anne was made to witness 
the executions from her lodgings. Whether this 
horror was really inflicted on her is not certain. Her 
captors were at least capable of such conduct. Old 
Kingston continued to watch her and report her 
sayings to Cromwell, though she was beyond the reach 
of any further harm that he could do her. On May 18th 
he wrote, in evident concern : 

" I suppose she will declare herself to be a good 
woman for all men but for the King at the hour of 
death, for this morning she sent with me that I might 
be with her at such time as she received the Good 
Lord, to the intent that I should hear her speak as 
touching her innocency always to be clear ; and in 
the writing of this she sent for me. And at my 
coming she said, ' Master Kingston, I hear say I 
shall not die afore noon, and I am very sorry therefor, 
for I thought to be dead by this time and past my 
pain ? ' I told her it should be no pain, it was so 
subtle. And then she said, ' I heard say the executor 
was very good, and I have a little neck,' and put her 
hand about it, laughing heartily. I have seen many 
men and also women executed, and all they have been 
in great sorrow, and to my knowledge this lady has 
much joy and pleasure in death." 

Chapuys also had his spy within the Tower, though 
who it was is uncertain, as he merely speaks of " the 
woman who has her in charge." From her no doubt 
he heard the story which he sent to Granvelle, how on 
her last night Anne had said that the jesters would 

Trial and Death 


find no difficulty in finding a nickname for her in 
history — " la Royne Anne sans-tete — and then she 
laughed heartily." Then he speaks of her in a more 
serious vein. Both on this day and on the morrow, 
before her execution, she is represented as saying that 
she did not consider she was condemned by Divine 
judgment, except for having been the cause of the 
ill-treatment of the Princess Mary and for having 
planned her death. The " planning of her death " 
is, no doubt, an embellishment. But there is no 
reason to disbelieve that Anne in her last days genuinely 
repented of her harshness towards Mary, varied 
though it was by necessarily ineffective attempts at 
conciliation. It is noteworthy that the actual breaking 
of Mary's proud spirit, inducing her to make an abject 
submission to all her father demanded, was after the 
death of " that woman," as she called Anne. 

The 19th of the month arrived, thirteen days short 
of three years from the date of her coronation, and at 
8 a.m. Queen Anne was led out to execution on the 
Green by the great White Tower, clad in a fur-trimmed 
robe of grey damask over a petticoat of crimson. 
A white collar was about her neck, her robe being 
cut low, and a hood over her head, embroidered with 
pearls. It was the last occasion on which she, always 
so noted for her taste in dress, would be able to display 
it. Four ladies attended her. According to story 
one of these was her favourite Margaret Lee, sister 
of Thomas Wyatt, to whom it was said she gave on 
the scaffold a book of devotions which still exists, 
showing that it had belonged to Anne Boleyn. It 
may have been so ; but it is to be feared that it is 
more likely that the four unwelcome attendants 


The Life of Anne Boleyn 

who were with her in the Tower accompanied her 

Precautions had been taken to keep the execution 
as little of a public ceremony as possible, for the revul- 
sion of feeling caused by the spectacle of the trial had 
made itself felt. Chapuys had noted that, and was 
himself almost shocked ! It was ordered that all 
foreigners should be excluded from the scene, and a 
very low scaffold had been set up, to avoid its being 
seen from a distance. On the Green were gathered 
the Lord Chancellor Audley, the Duke of Richmond,* 
the Duke of Suffolk, most of the King's Council (but 
not Norfolk or Wiltshire), the Lord Mayor, Aldermen 
and Sheriffs of London, and representatives of the 
leading City Companies ; and further off were such 
spectators as were able to secure admittance. 

Anne mounted the low scaffold and delivered her 
dying speech, of which, as in the case of her brother, 
there are numerous reports. Wriothesley makes her 
begin with a submission to the law, as it had judged 
her. As for her offences, God knew them, and she 
remitted them to Him, beseeching Him to have mercy 
upon her soul. Then followed a prayer for the King 
and an eulogy of him — alas ! only too grotesque, 
though it was quite according to the etiquette of the 
scaffold — for his virtues and his kindness to her. 
These words were delivered " with a goodly smiling 
countenance." Then kneeling down she said, " To 
Jesu Christ I commend my soul ! " 

By a special privilege the ordinary executioner was 

* When the young Duke died on the following July 22nd, Wriothesley 
wrote that it was thought that he was privily poisoned by the means 
of Queen Anne and Lord Rochford, for he pined inwardly in his body 
long before he died ! 

Trial and Death 


not to deal with her, the first English Queen to be 
beheaded, and instead the expert headsman of Calais 
had been brought over to strike off her head with a 
sword — at a cost to Sir William Kingston of £23 6s. 8d., 
as the Tower accounts showed. 

The French verse narrative (which may be treated 
with some respect, as it was originally written in 
London only three weeks after the execution) states 
that Anne now with her own hands put off her collar 
and hood, that the force of the blow might not be 
impeded. She knelt in readiness, repeating several 
times, " O Christ, I beseech Thee, receive my spirit ! " 
One of her ladies came forward in tears and covered 
her face with a linen cloth. The headsman stepped 
up, and with one blow cut through the little neck, and 
Anne Boleyn was no more. 

The same afternoon the head and body were buried 
in the choir of the chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula, in 
the Tower — after having been thrown, according to 
Burnet, into a common chest of elm, made to keep 
arrows in* In the operations of repaving part of this 
chapel in November, 1876, when the pavement was 
lifted at the spot where the remains of Anne Boleyn 
were supposed to be, there were found bones which 
the medical man assisting in the work pronounced 
to be those of a female between twenty-five and thirty 
years of age, of a delicate frame of body and of slender 
and perfect proportions, the forehead and lower jaw 
small and well formed, and the neck-vertebrae espe- 
cially small.* They were re-interred in the place where 
they were found. 

* D. C. Bell, " Notices of Historic Persons Buried in the Tower," 
page 21. 

298 The Life of Anne Boleyn 

Lord Rochford's head and body had been interred 
in the choir of the chapel also, quite close to his sister's ; 
but his remains were not disturbed in 1876. By 
a strange irony, less than six years after the execution 
of Anne and George Boleyn, the latter's wife was also 
decapitated in the Tower with Queen Katharine 
Howard, and her head and body were interred with 
her mistress's on the other side of the choir. 

On May 24th, in conversation with Chapuys, Crom- 
well " greatly praised the intelligence, wit and courage 
of the Concubine and her brother."* It would be 
interesting to know, what can never be known, what 
he thought of the guilt of which he had by his devilish 
scheming convicted them. To the present writer 
it is beyond a doubt that they and their fellow victims 
died for no crime at all. If the innocence of both 
sister and brother was not proved by the way they 
met their accusers and their death, then it is impossible 
by gracious courage ever to prove innocence. They 
did not, it is true, make violent protest against the 
unparalleled injustice to which they had been sub- 
jected. In the hour of death, and when escaping from 
a tyrant's hands, this may not seem worth while. 
And Anne at least left a helpless baby behind, for 
whose sake resignation was best. 

* * * * « 

Has Anne Boleyn in these pages appeared the 
creature of evil which her enemies (and it must be 
borne in mind that it is almost entirely from the 
writings of her enemies that we have to disentangle 
her history) represented her to be ? If so, the attempt 

* Chapuys to the Emperor, June 6th, 1536. 

Trial and Death 


which has been made to consider her without prejudice 
has failed. That she was proud, ambitious, a foe to 
her foes, even to vindictiveness, given to speaking her 
mind, careless of speech, gaiety-loving, is evident. 
But she was also brave, true to her friends, lavish 
with her gifts where liking or charity led her, sincere 
in her religious opinions, and withal a woman of 
genuine intellectual power. In the cruel, immoral, 
avaricious, treacherous and lying age of the Tudors, 
she crosses the scene a brilliant, perplexing and pathetic 
figure, and vanishes into the darkness, still only in 
her youthful womanhood. History — considered in the 
light of a record of personages, not of peoples — would 
be more intriguing were there more in it such as Anne 
the Queen. 



THE question of the relative ages of the two daughters 
of Thomas Boleyn, afterwards Earl of Wiltshire and 
Ormond, is a celebrated historical puzzle, and the prospect 
of a definite answer to it, convincing to all, appears as remote 
as ever it was. Unhappily what is essential to put the matter 
beyond doubt, strictly contemporary evidence, is lacking. The 
divergence of testimony begins soon after the Boleyn sisters 
had passed away, and it is now impossible to offer any ex- 
planation of the reason for it. 

Apart from the subject of the dates when either sister was 
at the French Court (since Professor Gairdner's article in " The 
English Historical Review," Vol. VIII., page 53, there can 
be no dispute that both were there in their youth), the con- 
troversy over their ages leaves the following two sets of 
statements irreconcilable : 

In favour, of Anne's juniority. — Camden in a marginal note 
(equivalent to a footnote) in his " History of Queen Elizabeth," 
definitely asserts that the year of her birth was 1507 ; and 
Camden is not a writer whose statements can be lightly regarded. 

Henry Clifford's " Life of Jane Dormer, Duchess of Feria " 
(see pages 5-6 above) distinctly states that Anne Boleyn 
" was not 29 years of age " when she died — on May 19th, 1536. 

These are both witnesses to Anne being the younger sister, 
because they place her birth in 1507 ; and we know that 
Mary Boleyn married her first husband, William Carey, in 
February, 1520. 

Mary and William Carey had a son Henry, whom Queen 
Elizabeth created Baron Hunsdon. His son George, who 
succeeded to the title on his father's death in 1596, wrote next 
year to Burleigh, the Lord Treasurer, asking his help in the 



Appendix A 

matter of a petition which he contemplated making to Queen 
Elizabeth, claiming the Earldom of Ormonde through his 
grandmother, Mary Boleyn, daughter of the last Earl of 
(Wiltshire and) Ormonde. Lord Hunsdon wrote with reference 
to his great-grandfather : 

" The Erldome of Ormonde, he survivinge his other children 
before that time attainted, he in right lefte to his eldest 
daughter Marye. . . . Her Ma tie is a coheire with me to the 
saide Erldome viz. daughter and heir of Anne yongest 
daughter of the saide Sir Thomas Bullen, late Erie of Ormonde. 
. . . The saide dignitie of the Erldome of Ormonde . . . de- 
scended to my grandmother his eldest daughter and sole heire " 
("State Papers, Domestic, Elizabeth"). 

In 1619, Ralph Brooke, York Herald, published " A Cata- 
logue and Succession of the Kings, Princes, Dukes, Marquesses, 
Earles and Viscounts of this Realme of England," in which, 
under the wives of Henry VIII., he said that 

" Anne, the second wile of King Henry the eight, was second 
daughter of Sir Thomas Bullen, Earle of Wiltshire and Or- 

Against Anne's juniority. — On the tombstone of Lady 
Berkeley, daughter of the second Lord Hunsdon, it is stated 
that Henry Carey, her grandfather, was "son and heir of 
William Carey and the Lady Mary his wife, second daughter 
and coheir of Thomas Bullen, Earl of Ormonde and Wiltshire " 
(Collins, "Peerage," Vol. DDL, page 615). 

John Smyth of Nibley, who was personal attendant in 1584 
to the husband of the Lady Berkeley above mentioned, in his 
manuscript Lives of the Berkeley s (published in " The 
Berkeley Manuscripts," under the editorship of Sir John Mac- 
Lean, in 1883), says that William Carey " maryed Mary second 
daughter and coheire of Thomas Bullein." 

* It may be added that Anne's patent of creation as Marchioness of 
Pembroke on September 1st, 1532, calls her " Anne Rocheford, one of 
the daughters of Thomas, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond '*- (" Letters 
and Papers, Henry VIII.," Vol. V., page 585), whereas if she were 
the elder daughter we should rather expect the fact to be stated. 

Appendix A 


Ralph Brooke in the work already quoted, when he reaches 
the Earls of Wiltshire in the Catalogue, says that Thomas 
Bollen (sic) has issue " George Bollen, Viscount Rochford . . . 
and two daughters ; Anne the eldest . . . Mary the second 

It has been pointed out that Augustine Vincent, Rouge- 
Croix, in his " Discoverie of Errours " of the York Herald 
(1622), does not challenge his assertion ; but neither does he 
challenge the other, which makes Anne the second daughter ! 

Dr. J. H. Round in his pamphlet, " The Early Days of Anne 
Boleyn," published in 1885, quotes from two Boleyn pedigrees : 
(1) One apparently of the reign of Charles I. in Harleian 
MSS. 1233, fol. 81, which speaks of " Mary Bullen second 
dau. : wife of William Cary Esq. ; and (2) a formally 
attested pedigree for 1679 in the archives of the College of Arms, 
which mentions " Anne Bollin March of Pembroke eldest 
dau r " and " Mary Bollin dau r and heire." 

So much for the oldest evidence which has been found ! 



A DOGGEREL poem by George Cavendish on the death of 
Lord Rochford (Singer's edition of Cavendish's " Life 
of Cardinal Wolsey," Vol. II., page 19) contains the lines, put 
in the mouth of the departed : 

" It hath not been knowen nor seldome seen 
That any of my yeres byfore this day 
Into the privy councell preferred hath been : 
My soverayn lord in his chamber did me assay 
Or yeres thryes nine had past away ; 
A rare thing suer seldom or never hard 
So young a man so highly to be preferrd." 

From this statement and a knowledge that George Boleyn 
was of the King's privy chamber in 1527 — as a matter of fact, 
the date of his appointment was earlier — some writers, in- 
cluding Miss Strickland, have concluded that he was born 
about 1500. But " chamber " in the poem appears to be 
the same as " privy councell " in the preceding line ; and 
certainly 27 (" yeres thryes nine ") would not be an early age 
at which to be appointed to the King's privy chamber, a very 
different post from the Council. I have traced no allusion to 
the appointment of George Boleyn to the Council ; but, in 
view of the rapid advancement of both his father and himself 
before and after this period, it is conceivable that after the 
father became Earl of Wiltshire at the end of 1529, and the 
son in turn Viscount Rochford, the latter was then appointed 
to the Council. Thus we should arrive at 1503 as the earliest 
possible date of his birth. 

It was in 1525, it seems, that George Boleyn became a 


Appendix B 


gentleman of the privy chamber. In the Record Office there 
is a mutilated document in Cardinal Wolsey's handwriting, 
which is assigned to January, 1526 (" Letters and Papers, 
Henry VIII.," Vol. IV., page 871), entitled " A provysyon for 
suche as shujld] . . . of the Kingesp[rivy chamber]." One of 
the paragraphs runs : 

" Yong Bolleyn to [have] XX /. yeerly above the ... he 
hath gottyn to hy[m a]nd hys wyfe to lyve therupon ; and also 
to admyt [h]ym to be one of the kupberers when the Kyng 
dynyth [o]wt." 

We can hardly be wrong in identifying " yong Bolleyn " 
with Anne's brother George. 




IN the section devoted to Anne Boleyn in her " Lives of the 
Queens of England " Miss Agnes Strickland states that 
Anne Boleyn's mother, the former Lady Elizabeth Howard, 
died of puerperal fever in 15 12, quoting as her authority the 
Howard Memorials, by Mr. Howard of Corby. She also says : 

" Sir Thomas Boleyn married again ; at what period of his life we 
have no record, but it is certain that Anne's stepmother was a Norfolk 
woman of humble origin, and it has been observed that Queen Eliza- 
beth was connected, in consequence of this second marriage of her 
grandfather, with numerous families in Norfolk of a mean station in 
that county." 

To this a note is appended : 

" Thorns' Traditions : Camden Society. — The fact that the Lady 
Boleyn so prominent in history . . . was not Anne Boleyn's mother 
throws a new light on the history of the court. It ought to be noted 
how completely Mr. Thorns' Norfolk MSS. and the Howard Memorials 
agree upon this point." 

Let us see what Mr. Thorns has to say. In 1839 W. J. 
Thorns edited for the Camden Society, under the title of 
" Anecdotes and Traditions illustrative of Early English 
History and Literature," the MS. " Merry Passages and Jests " 
of Sir Nicholas L'Estrange, of Hunstanton, elder brother of 
the celebrated Sir Roger L'Estrange, " the bloodhound of the 
Press." One of Sir Nicholas's stories is as follows : 

" One begg'd of Queene Elizabeth and pretended kindred and alliance, 
but there was no such relation. ' Friend,' says she, ' grant it be so, 
do'st thinke I am bound to keepe all my kindred ? Why, that's the 
way to make me a beggar I ' " 

Mr. Thorns comments : 

" Queen Elizabeth had numerous maternal relatives, and many of 
them among the inferior gentry (particularly in Norfolk), an incon- 
venience which arose from her father having selected for his second 
consort a subject of no very elevated extraction." 


Appendix C 


It is perfectly clear that Mr. Thorns is referring to the second 
marriage of Henry VIII. He does not even mention Sir 
Thomas Boleyn. How, therefore, Miss Strickland got " the 
second marriage of her [Queen Elizabeth's] grandfather," 
Anne Boleyn's father, from the Norfolk MSS. is a marvel. 
Truly a belle-mere's nest ! 

There remains the statement in Mr. H. Howard's " Indica- 
tions of Memorials of the Howard Family," privately printed 
in 1834-6. Here it is stated that Elizabeth Howard, wife of 
Thomas Boleyn, died puerperio at Lambeth, December 14th, 
15 1 2, and was interred at Lambeth. No authority is given 
for the date. 

Curiously, G. E. C[okayne] in his " Peerage " asserts that 
Elizabeth Howard, Countess of Wiltshire, died " in childbed " 
on April 3rd, and was buried April 7th, 1537, in the Howard 
aisle at Lambeth Church. The date of the year, 1537, causes 
no difficult}', for we often find a confusion arising out of the 
diversity of reckoning on what day the year started. But it 
is certainly startling to hear of the lady's death " in childbed " 
at so advanced an age as she must have attained in 1538. I 
can hazard no explanation of this. 

With regard to the interment of the Countess of Wiltshire 
at Lambeth, I have been unable to trace there any funeral 
certificate, such as Cokayne mentions. In that scarce work, 
J. Nichols's " History of the Parish of Lambeth " (1786), there 
is a statement that there was formerly a brass plate with the 
inscription, "Here lyeth the Lady Elizabeth Howard, some 
time Countess of Wiltshire." This plate was no longer in 
existence ; but it had been in the chancel of the church, no 
reference being made to the Howard aisle. 

If we could discover another Elizabeth Howard, who died 
in 1 51 2, we might be able to trace the confusion which has 
led to the invention of a stepmother for Anne Boleyn. Un- 
fortunately I have not succeeded in finding the lady ! 




THE following is the text of Anne's childish letter to her 
father, of which the original is at Corpus Christi 
College, Cambridge, being bequeathed by Archbishop Parker, 
one of her chaplains : 

" Monss r . Je antandue par v re lettre que a ves envy que toufs 
onette fame quan Je vindre a la courte et mavertisses que la 
Rene prendra la pein de devisser a vecc moi de quoy me Regoy 
bine fort de penser parler a vecc ung perscone tante sage et 
onnete cela me ferra a voyr plus grante anuy de continuer a 
parler bene franssais et oussy espel [erased] especy ale man pour 
sue que melaues tant Recommande et de me man vous a versty 
que les gardere le meux que Je poure Monss 1 Je vous supplya 
descusser sy ma lettre et male et sipta car je vous asure quete 
et ottografie de monantend amant sule la vue les aultres ne 
sont faiz que escript de maman et Semmonet me dit la lettre 
mes domeura fan je le fie moy meme de peur que lone ne saces 
sance que Je vous mande et Je vous pry que la loumire de vu 
vue net libertte de separe la voullante que dites aves de me 
edere car hile me semble quettes ascure en lue [?] la ou vous 
poues sy vous plet me vere de claraison de v re paroile et de 
moy coues sertene que miara cuoffice de peres ne din gratitude 
que sut en passer ne et fasere mon a veccfion quecte de libere 
deviere autant sance que vous plera me commander et vous 
prommes que mon amour et vondue par ung si grante fermette 
quele nara James pouer de sane deminuer et feres fin a mon 
pourpon a pres mettre Recommande bine humblemente a v re 
bone grace et script a Veure de 

" V re tres humble et tres obeiff 
fille Anna de Boullan." 

[Transcription made for the Rev. J. S. Brewer by the Rev. J. 
R. Lumby.] 


Appendix D 


The following is the text of Sir Thomas Boleyn's letter to 
Margaret of Austria in 15 14, as transcribed by Mr. J. Eliot 
Hodgkin in " Notes and Queries," 8th Series, Vol. VIII., page 
141, from the original holograph then recently sold by auction 
at Sotheby's : 

" Ma treschiere et tres redoubtee dame dans sy hu'ble cuer 
quil mest possible a v're bonne grace me Recom'ande. II 
vous playra a sauoir com'ent la seur du Roy mon maistre 
madame marie Reyne fyancee de france ma Requyse dauoir 
auecques ma fille la petitte boulain laquelle ma tres redoubtee 
dame est a present auesques vous en v're court a laquelle 
Requeste Je may peult ne sceut Refuzer nullement, sy est ma 
tres redoubtee dame que Je vous supplie tres humblement quil 
vous plaise de don'er et octroyer congiet a ma fille de pouuoir 
Retourner p'deuent moy auecques mes gens lesquels Jay 
envoyet deuers vous a ceste cause ma tres redoubte dame Je 
me tiens fort obligiet envers v re bonne grace a cause de la gra't 
hon'eur que fait aues a ma fille et que ne mest possible a 
desseruir deuers v re bonne grace non obstant que Je ne dezire 
aultre chose synon que Je v os puisse faire aulcun seruice agreable 
ce que Jespere de faire encores cy en apres un plaisir de dieu 
auquel Je prie ma tres redoubtee dame quil vous doinst lentier 
accomplissement de vos noble et bons desirs Escript desoubz 
mon signe manuel a la court Royalle de grynewiche en engle- 
terre/le xiiij e Jour daoust m° xv 6 et xiiij 

m v e tres hu'ble S r uiteur 
" Sr. Thomas Boleyn." 

Postscript. — It may be noted that I have made no reference, 
in the account of Anne Boleyn's last days, to her alleged 
letter to Henry VIII. from the Tower. All evidence for its 
authenticity is lacking, neither the handwriting nor the style 
being Anne's. 


Abel, Thomas, 155, 203 

Abergavenny, Lord, 195, 268 

Agostino, Dr., 106, 115 

Alencon, Duchess of, see Mar- 
guerite de Valois 

Amadas, Mrs., 183M 

Amadas, Robert, 183*1 

Angouleme, Duke of, 227, 235, 239 

Anne (Boleyn), Queen : her family, 
iff. ; birth, 5-6, App. A ; 
birth-place, 7 ; her alleged 
stepmother, 8-9, App. C ; edu- 
cation, 1 1-2, 21 ; first visit to 
France, i6ff. ; her early letter, 
17, App. D ; Sanders's attack 
on, 19-21, 123 ; her sympathy 
with the Reformers, 20, 137, 
157, 213, 224 ; stays in France, 
21-22 ; the proposed Butler 
match, 22-3 ; at a revel, 1522, 
25 ; her looks, 27-9 ; disap- 
pearance from view, 31 ; the 
Percy affair, 31 ff., 61 ; question 
of a " precontract," 32, 34, 65W., 
142, 285, 291 ; leaves Court, 
36 ; returns, 38 ; first courted 
by Henry VIII., 39 ; not 
responsible for Katharine's de- 
gradation, 44 ; her ambition, 
45 • 53. 63 ; letters from Henry, 
49ff.. 68, 73 ff., ygff., 85; her 
motto, 51, 61 ; behaviour on 
Wolsey's return from France, 
53 ; Henry's determination to 
marry, 55 ; the Wyatt story, 
56ff., 280K. ; with Katharine at 
cards, 60 ; makes up to Wolsey, 
63 ; Wolsey's panegyric on, 
67 ; her hopes of mission to 

Rome, 70-1 ; letters to Wolsey, 
71, 80 ; leaves London through 
" the sweat," 72 ; illness and 
recovery, 74-5 ; the Wilton 
nunnery appointment, j6ff. ; 
after Campeggio's arrival, 85-6 ; 
at Greenwich, Christmas, 1528, 
90 ; quarrel with Wolsey, 91 ; 
the cramp-rings, 93 ; du Bellay's 
suspicion about, 94 ; absent 
from London during Legatine 
Court, 95 ; on progress with 
Henry, 98 ; attacks Wolsey at 
Grafton, 99 ; her triumph, 
103-4 ; friendly message to 
Wolsey, 107 ; hostility of the 
Duke of Suffolk, 11 1 ; alleged 
demand for Wolsey's arrest, 
114; "braver than a lion," 
116; urges defiance of Rome, 
120-1 ; animus against Princess 
Mary, 122, 205-6, 218, 253 ; 
the poison legend, 123-4, 2 °6, 
2 55» 2 76, 296W. ; enemies at 
Court, 123-6 ; prepares for 
marriage, 127 ; her confidence, 
129 ; story of a women's plot 
against, 130 ; undergoes cam- 
paign of calumny, 130-1 ; royal 
state, but no progress with 
divorce, 135 ; quarrels with her 
father and Norfolk, 137 ; with 
Henry on hunting tour, 1532, 
142-3 ; Marchioness of Pem- 
broke, 146, 302W. ; goes with 
Henry to Calais, 149-51 ; card- 
playing, 151 ; charities, 152, 
262 ; royal gifts to, 153 ; her 
relations witb Henry, 156 ; 



Anne (Boleyn), Queen — continued. 
secret marriage, January 25th, 
1533. I 5&> 1 59l the estrange- 
ment of France, 163 ; appears 
publicly as Queen, 167 ; her 
marriage pronounced valid by 
Cranmer, 169 ; State festivities 
for, ijiff- ', Coronation, June 
1st, 1533, 177-81 ; priests' and 
others' attacks on, 183-5 '• birth 
of Elizabeth, September 7th, 
I 533. J 9 2 > complains about 
Mary, 205 ; makes overtures to 
her, 208 ; " heretical " influence 
over Henry, 213, 237 ; his 
renewal of affection and subse- 
quent coldness, 216, 219 ; her 
dangerous position, 219, 224 ; 
has a rival at Court, 219, 228-9 ; 
her talk to Gontier, 233 ; alleged 
responsibility for More's death, 
242 ; the rise of Jane Seymour, 
246-7 ; attitude to Katharine 
and Mary, 253 ; ' ' wears yellow 
for the mourning," 255 ; fresh 
overtures to Mary, 257 ; letter 
to Lady Shelton, 258 ; her 
hopes of a son dashed, 259-61 ; 
ill- treatment by Henry, 261-2 ; 
her good works, 262 ; attempts 
to conciliate Chapuys, 266 ; 
her ruin planned by Cromwell, 
267, 269; May Day, 1536, 
2joff. ; sent to the Tower, 274 ; 
her rambling talk there, 274-8 ; 
Cranmer 's weak intercession, 

281 ; public sympathy aroused, 

282 ; her trial, 284 ; the in- 
dictments, 286; the "evi- 
dence," 287 ; verdict and sen- 
tence, 289-90 ; Cranmer's final 
interview with, 291-2 ; execu- 
tion of the other victims, 
292-4 ; her protestation of 
innocence, 294 ; repents of 
harshness to Mary, 295 ; her 
execution, May 19th, 1536, 

2 95-7 .' exhumation of her 
bones, 1876, 297 ; Cromwell's 
tribute to, 298 ; her character, 
vii., 298-9 ; her alleged letter to 
Henry from the Tower, 309 
Aretino, Pietro, 225U 
Arthur, Prince of Wales, 43, 87 
Audley, Sir Thomas, 141, 162, 
270, 284, 296 

Barlow, Dr. John, 28-9, 47 
Barlow, Dr. William, 82 
Barton, Elizabeth, 201-2, 207, 209, 

211-2, 240 
Baynton, Sir Edward, 182, 279, 


Bell, Dr. John, 77 

Benet, Dr. William, 9on., 97, 124, 

133, 135 
Benger, Miss E. O., biographer, 39 
Blickling (Norfolk), 5, 7 
Blount, Elizabeth, see Tailebois, 


Boleyn, Anne, see Anne 

Boleyn, Anne, Lady Shelton, 134, 

206, 214, 234, 249, 257-9 
Boleyn, Anne, wife of Geoffrey, 2, 7 
Boleyn, Anne, wife of Thomas the 

elder, 1, 7 
Boleyn, Sir Geoffrey, 1-2, 7 
Boleyn, George, afterwards 2nd 
Viscount Rochford : his birth, 
6, App. B ; appointed to privy 
chamber, 6-7 ; marries, 45 ; a 
friend of Thomas Wyatt, 57 ; 
first sent on embassy to France, 
103, 109 ; becomes Viscount 
Rochford, 103 ; has grant from 
Wolsey, 106 ; sent to France, 
106, 109 ; further embassies to 
France, 163, 170 ; his wife's 
hostility to Anne, 182, 220, 289 ; 
brings news of Henry's ex- 
communication, 187-8 ; at 
Elizabeth's christening, 193 ; 
sent again to Francis, 210-1, 



Boleyn, George — continued. 

217 ; at execution of the 
Carthusians, 236-7 ; his last 
missions to France, 238-9 ; his 
" Lutheran discussions," 265 ; 
fails to get the Garter, 268 ; at 
the May Day joust, 1536, 270 ; 
arrested, 275, 279 ; a poet, 
278W. ; the charges against, 
279, 283, 288 ; his wife's con- 
duct, 288 ; his trial, 290-1 ; 
execution, 292-3 ; Cromwell's 
tribute to, 298 

Boleyn, Sir James, 149, 235 

Boleyn, Lady Elizabeth, after- 
wards Countess of Wiltshire and 
Ormonde, 4, 7-10, 22-3, 63, 134, 
236 ; the date of her death, 
8-9, App. C 

Boleyn, Lady, wife of James 
Boleyn, 274, 276 

Boleyn, Lady Margaret, wife of 
William Boleyn, 2-4, 56 

Boleyn, Mary, afterwards Mary 
Carey and Mary Stafford : her 
birth, 6, App. A ; with Margaret 
of Austria, 13 ; in France, i^ff. ; 
her alleged ill-fame, 16, 20 ; 
marries William Carey, 21 ; her 
connection with Henry VIII., 
30, 38, 45, 66 ; her son, 38, 
75». ; widowed, 75 ; in New 
Year gifts list, 1532, 134 ; 
marries Sir William Stafford, 
229 ; her letter to Cromwell, 
229-30 ; with Anne in January, 
1536, 260 

Boleyn, Thomas, the elder, 1 

Boleyn, Thomas, afterwards Vis- 
count Rochford and Earl of 
Wiltshire and Ormonde : his 
origin and early days, iff. ; 
character, 4 ; places a daughter 
with Margaret of Austria, 12 ; 
his letter to Margaret, 13, App. 
D ; letter from Anne, 17, 
App. D ; missions abroad, 22 ; 

rapid advancement, 37 ; created 
Viscount Rochford, 37 ; his 
hold on the King, 45, 51, 56 ; 
gives evidence at the Legatine 
Court, 96 ; rebuked by Wolsey, 
96 ; created Earl of Wiltshire 
and Lord Privy Seal, 103 ; his 
mission to Bologna, 109 ; to 
France, 112 ; rejoices over 
Wolsey 's death, 115 ; his chap- 
lain Cranmer, 126 ; opposes 
Anne's marriage, 137, 162 ; 
his Reform views, 191 ; at 
Elizabeth's christening, 193 ; 
his treatment of Mary Boleyn, 
230 ; at execution of the Car- 
thusians, 236-7 ; still in royal 
favour, 267-8 ; on commission 
of oyer and terminer, 270 ; not 
at Anne's trial or execution, 289; 
his allowance to Lady Rochford, 

Boleyn, Sir William, 2-5 
Bonner, Dr. Edmund, 135, 197 
Bracton, Anne, see Boleyn, Anne, 

wife of Thomas the elder 
Bracton, Sir John, 1 
Brandon, Charles, Duke of Suffolk, 

19, 51, 59, 6in., 92, 101, 103,111, 

113, 125, 129, 144, 175, 180, 193, 

203, 270, 280, 296 
Brereton, William, 278, 279, 280. 


Brewer, Rev. J. S., historian, 37, 

Bridewell Palace, 86, 88 
Brion, Sieur de, see Chabot 
Brooke, Elizabeth, wife of Thomas 

Wyatt, 57 
Brooke, Ralph, York Herald, 156, 

I59W., 302, 303 
Browne, Dr. George, 159, 168 
Bryan, Sir Francis, 57, 59, 89, 

92-4, 151, 246, 251 
Burgh of Gainsborough, Thomas, 

Lord, 170, 178 



Burnet, Bishop, historian, vii., 36, 

123, 129, 211, 262, 275, 287 
Butler, James, 22-3 
Butler, Margaret, see Boleyn, 

Lady Margaret 
Butler, Piers, afterwards Earl of 

Ossory, and later of Ormonde, 

22-3, 37«., 56 
Butler, Thomas, see Ormonde, Sir 


Butts, Dr. William, 75, 106-7, 2I 9 

Camden, William, annalist, 5, 301 
Campeggio, Cardinal, 70, 83, 85^., 

94#, 101-2, 232 
Canterbury, Archbishops of, see 

Warham and Cranmer 
Canterbury, Convocation of, 118, 

119, 140, 166 
Carew, Sir Nicholas, 126, 181, 238, 

268, 282 
Carey, Eleanor, 77-9 
Carey, Henry, afterwards Baron 

Hunsdon, 38, 75W., 301 
Carey, Mary, see Boleyn, Mary 
Carey, William, 21, 30, 45, 75, 77 
Carles, L. D., Bishop of Riez, 16 ; 

his " Epitre," 19, 21, 290, 293^. , 


Casale, Sir Gregory, 65, 66, 87, 

93, 113, 225 
Castillon, Sieur de, 206, 209 
Cavendish, George, 26, 31, 38-9, 

46, 54-5. 98-102, 303 
Chabot, Philippe de, Sieur de 

Brion, 226-8, 231 
Chambers, Dr., 73, 75 
Chapuys, Eustache, vi., 61, 104, 

116, 117, 132, 155, 159, 167, 

169, 195, 204-6. 215, 221-3, 

229, 231, 238-9, 249, 257, 263#, 

274, 282, 298, etc., etc. 
Charles V., Emperor, 44, 46, 47, 

66, 86, 104, 109, 116, 129, 143, 

154, 164, 195-6, 201, 215, 224, 

245, 257, 263 
Cheyney, Sir Thomas, 58, 64, 91 

Claude, Queen, 19, 21 

Clement VII., Pope, 46, 47, 65^., 
86, 92-4, 97, 108-9, 112, 113, 
116-7, 124, 133, 135, 140, 144, 
154-5, 164, 166-7, 187-8, 196-7, 
201, 208 ; his death, 225 

Clifford, Henry, biographer, 5-6, 
123, 242, 259-60, 27m., 301 

Cobham, Thomas Brooke, Lord, 57 

Cokayne, G. E., genealogist, 306 

Coke, John, 184 

Constantyne, George, 2j2n., 273, 
290, 293 

Cosyns, Mrs. 274, 276, 277, 279, 

Cranmer, Thomas, afterwards 
Archbishop of Canterbury, 109, 
126-7, I 54. 1 5^, 157. 159, 

160, 162, 166, 168-9, 175. 178-80, 
186, 194, 212, 236, 281 ; his 
final interview with Anne, 291-2 

Cromwell, Thomas, 4, 35, 102, 106, 
118-9, 141, 157, 171, 191, 195, 
199, 204, 205, 2o6«., 209, 210, 
212, 213, 218, 222, 232, 234, 237, 
238-9, 245, 250, 252, 263-4, 266; 
plans Anne's ruin, 267 ff.; strikes 
the blow, 271$". ; his conduct of 
the case 275, 277, 285-6 ; 
tribute to Anne and Rochford, 

Dacre of the North, William, 

Lord, 217-8, 221 
Darcy, Thomas, Lord, 136, 206, 


De Burgo, Antonio, Baron, 112, 
113, 124, 155, 160-1, 164 

Dinteville, Jean de, Bailly of 
Troyes, 179, 197, 245^. 

Dormer, Lady Jane, 5, 246 

Du Bellay, John, Bishop of 
Bayonne, afterwards Bishop of 
Paris and Cardinal, 54, 56, 72, 
76, 79, 83??., 86, 88, 90, 91, 94, 
104, 105, 112, 142-3, 197- 8 . 
208-10, 240 



Eleanor, Queen, 2nd wife of 

Francis L, 143, 263 
Elizabeth, Princess, 45, 156, 192^., 

202, 214, 219, 222-3, 235, 239, 

245, 249, 255, 291, 298 ; story 

of, as Queen, 305 
Erasmus, 191 
Elston, Henry, 139-40, 183 
Executioner of Calais, The, 297 
Exeter, Lady, 194, 202, 252-3, 

261, 265 

Exeter, Marquis of, 51, 193, 252, 

Faenza, Ridolfo Pio, Bishop of, 

15, 20, 239, 260 
Fastolf, Sir John, 7 
Ferdinand, King of Aragon, 43 
Fisher, John, Bishop of Rochester, 

87, 121, 123, 166, 201, 206, 212, 


Fitzwilliam, Sir William, 51, 129, 

210-1, 215, 273, 279 
Fleet Street, 86n 

Foxe, Edward, afterwards Bishop 
of Winchester, 6jff., 126,132,147 

Francis I. of France, 19, 22, 29, 
36, 40, 44, 112, 132, 133, 142, 
143, 149-50, 163, 181, 187, 196-8, 
210-1, 215, 224, 226-7, 233-5, 
239, 242, 244-6, 250-1 

Friedmann, Mr. Paul, biographer, 
21, I47«., 187W., 210, 25071., 
255. 269 

Gairdner, Professor James, his- 
torian, 15, 18, 301 

Gardiner, Stephen, afterwards 
Bishop of Winchester, 67 ff., 
92-3, 125, 126, 135, 141, 188, 
196-8, 248, 251, 285 

Ghinucci, Jerome de, Bishop of 
Worcester, afterwards Cardinal, 
47, 232, 240 

Gontier, Palamede, 232-3, 235 

Grammont, Gabriel de, Bishop of 
Tarbes, afterwards Cardinal, 4, 
41, 133, 248-9, 250 

Granvelle, Nicholas, Sieur de, 237 
Grinee, Simon, 130-1 
Guildford, Lady Jane, 14-15 
Guildford, Sir Henry, 125, 153 

Hale, Rev. John, 236 

Hall, Edward, chronicler, 90, 102, 

i92«., 255 
Harpsfield, Dr. Nicholas, 204 
Harrison, Rev. James, 184 
Hawkins, Dr. Nicholas, 153, 156M., 


Heath, Dr. Nicholas, afterwards 

Archbishop of York, 201 
Heneage, Thomas, 63-4, 70, 73, 75, 

77. 78, 79 

Henry VII., 2, 7, 43 

Henry VIII. : his Coronation, 7 ; 
early favours to Thomas Boleyn, 
8, 12 ; the Sanders story, ign., 
236 ; interests himself in a 
match for Anne, 22-24 ; his 
desire for a son, 30, 40, 186, 207, 
257 ; his affair with Mary 
Boleyn, 30, 38, 66 ; his first 
notice of Anne, 31 ff., 34 ; breaks 
off the Percy affair, 32-4 ; 
tradition of his visits to Hever, 
39 ; desires to repudiate Kath- 
arine, 39/jf. ; plans to marry 
Anne, 44, 55 ; his letters to her, 
49#, 68, 73#, 7 9#, 85 ; calls 
her his " mistress," 50 ; bis 
jealousy of Wyatt, 59-60 ; his 
request to the Pope, 65-6 ; 
obtains Papal Commission, 70 ; 
joint letter with Anne to Wolsey, 
72 ; flies from " the sweat," 
72-3 ; his coarse language, 75, 
79 ; the Wilton appointment, 
76ff. ; the theft of his love- 
letters, 82 ; receives Campeggio 
87 ; explains his conscience, 89, 
121 ; hastens the Legatine 
Court, 94 ; receives Wolsey at 
Grafton, 98^. ; dismisses Wol- 
sey, 102 ; later favours to the 



Henry VIII. — continued. 

Cardinal, 106-7 ; determined on 
second marriage, 107 ; sends 
Thomas Boleyn to the Pope, 
109 ; his use of praemunire, 
117, 120, 165 ; takes Cromwell's 
advice, 119 ; Supreme Head of 
the Church, 120 ; fails to move 
Katharine, 125 ; breaks finally 
with her, 127 ; takes up Cran- 
mer, 135 ; his struggle with 
Parliament, 136 ; the Observant 
Friars, 138-40 ; Cromwell's in- 
fluence over, 141, 191, 237 ; 
creates Anne Marchioness of 
Pembroke, 146 ; takes her to 
Calais, 149-51 ; marries her, 
1 5^> 159; bis "fish" letter to 
the Pope, 164 ; his pulpit 
campaign, 165 ; overawes Con- 
vocation, 1 66 ; has Anne pro- 
claimed his wife, 169 ; at Anne's 
Coronation festivities, 174, C76, 
177 ; excommunicated, 187 ; 
his alleged early unfaithfulness, 
190, 200 ; Elizabeth's birth, 
192 ; his Parliamentary pro- 
gramme, 1534,196, 209,210,225 ; 
begins campaign against the 
priests, 201, 211 ; half relents 
toward Mary, 205, 219 ; anti- 
cipates Katharine's death, 206, 
215 ; fails to have Dacre con- 
demned, 218 ; " the young 
lady," 219-20, 228-9, 234 ; his 
new title, 232 ; his boast to 
Gontier, 233 ; executes the 
Carthusians, 236 ; not a Re- 
former, 237 ; executes Fisher, 
241 ; watches a masque on 
the Apocalypse, 241 ; executes 
More, 242 ; attracted by Jane 
Seymour, 246-7 ; alleged 
schemes against Katharine and 
Mary, 252 ; Katharine's death, 
254-6 ; brutal conduct to Anne, 
261-2 ; accepts Cromwell's pro- 

posal, 270 ; May Day, 1536, 
270-3 ; arrests Anne, 273-4 > 
his gaiety thereafter, 281-2 ; 
alleged conspiracy against, 283, 
285 ; extracts admission of an 
impediment from Anne, 291-2 ; 
prayed for by her, 296 

Henry Fitzroy, afterwards Duke 
of Richmond, 30, 37, 40, 167, 
193, 203, 272, 596 

Herbert of Cherbury, Edward, 
Lord, historian, 11, 16, 19, 21, 

Hever (Kent), 5, 7, 18, 36, 68, 

72, 76, 86 
Hoo, Anne, see Boleyn, Anne, wife 

of Geoffrey 
Hoo and Hastings, Lord, 2 
Hoo, Thomas, 2 

Howard, Elizabeth, see Boleyn, 

Lady Elizabeth 
Howard, Henry, Earl of Surrey, 

57, 110, 137 
Howard, H., of Corby, antiquarian, 

3°5» 3°6 
Howard, Katharine, 10, 298 
Howard, Lady Mary, afterwards 

Duchess of Richmond, 146, 167, 


Howard, Thomas, 2nd Duke of 

Norfolk, 4-5 
Howard, Thomas, 3rd Duke of 
Norfolk, 9-10, 22-3, 51, 91-2, 
103, 105, 108, no, in, 1 14-5, 
125, 136, 137, 148, 159, 161, 
166, 170, 187-8, 193, 195, 198-9, 
231, 236, 238, 259-60, 270, 273-4, 
284, 290, 296 
Howard, Lord Thomas, 193, 194 
Howard, Lord William, 175, 180, 

181, 193 
Howard, Lady William, 250 
Hume, Mr. M. A. S., biographer, 
40, 42, 45, 61, 177, 254«., 
255, 28on 
Hunsdon, Baron, see Carey, Henry 
Hunsdon, George, 2nd Baron,30i-2 



Hussey, Lord, 193, 221 

John II. of Aragon, 43 
Jordan, Isabel, 77-9 
Julius II., Pope, 89 

Katharine (of Aragon), Queen : 
her appearance, 30 ; Henry's 
unfaithfulness to, 30, 43 ; has 
Anne in her household, 31, 38 ; 
the first idea of divorce, 39-41 ; 
her popularity, 40, 88, 189 ; 
character, 42-3 ; Henry's " con- 
science " about, 67, 89, 121 ; 
receives Campeggio, 87 ; the 
divorce proceedings, 94^. ; is 
" contumacious," 95 ; rebukes 
Henry, 107 ; surprised at 
Rome's inaction, 120 ; con- 
founds deputation at Greenwich, 
125 ; Henry's definite rupture 
with, 127 ; still unyielding, 128 ; 
supported by the Observants, 
138 ; believes Henry to be 
relenting, 155 ; deprived of 
title of Queen, 166 ; her mar- 
riage pronounced invalid, 169 ; 
exiled to Buckden, 189 ; her 
defiant attitude, 189, 203, 214 ; 
has no dealings with Elizabeth 
Barton, 201 ; a half-hearted 
conspirator, 204-5 '• ner death 
anticipated by Henry, 206, 215 ; 
her marriage upheld by Rome, 
210 ; refuses the oath, 214 ; 
banished to Kimbolton, 215 ; 
not allowed to see Mary, 234 ; 
suspicion of Henry's intention to 
kill, 252 ; her end, 254-5 

Kent, The Maid or Mad Nun of, 
see Barton 

Kingston, Lady, 10, 276, 277 

Kingston, Sir William, 55, 173, 
273#. 289, 294, 297 

Kite, John, Bishop of Carlisle, 282 

Knight, Dr., 47, 65, 66 

La Guiche, Sieur de, 115, 211, 216 
Latimer, Hugh, Bishop of Worces- 
ter, 232 

Laurence, Friar John, 139-40, 152 
Lee, Dr. Edward, afterwards 

Archbishop of York, 125, 128, 


Lee, Dr. Rowland, afterwards 

Bishop of Chester, 159, 214 
Lee, Lady, see Wyatt, Margaret 
L'Estrange, Sir Nicholas, 8, 305 
Llandaff, Bishop of, 255 
Louis XII. of France, 12, 14-15, 19 
Luther, Martin, 20, 137 
Lyst, Richard, 152 

Mai, Miguel, no, 112 
Margaret of Austria, 12-14 
Marguerite de Valois, Duchess of 
Alencon, afterwards Queen of 
Navarre, 21, 36, 143, 149, 211, 

Marks, see Smeaton 
Mary (Tudor), Queen of France, 
afterwards Duchess of Suffolk, 
itff., 19, 26, 104, 125, 153 
Mary (Tudor), Princess, daughter of 
Henry VIII., 40, 41, 43, 44, 47 
122, 128, 137, 189, 193, 195, 
202-6, 208, 211, 214, 218-20, 
222-3, 226-7, 234, 239, 249-50, 
252-4, 257-9, 267, 271M., 295 
Maximilian, Emperor, 12 
Mendoza, Inigo de, 47, 53, 91 
Mont, Christopher, 201 
Montague, Lord, see Pole, Henry 
Montmorency, Anne de, Grand 

Master of France, 54 
More, Sir Thomas, 103, 106, 121, 

141, 202, 207, 209, 212 
Morette, Charles, Sieur de, 238, 240 
Morley, Lord, see Parker, Henry 
Mountjoy, Lord, 130, 166, 189 

Navarre, Henri, King of, 150 
Navarre, Queen of, see Marguerite 
de Valois 



Norfolk, Dukes of, see under 

Norfolk, Anne, Dowager Duchess 

of, 162, 175, 178, 182, 193-4 
Norfolk, Elizabeth, Duchess of, 

104, in, 124, 182, 195 
Norris, Six Henry, 99, 236, 270, 

272 3. 275. 276, 279, 283-4, 292-3 
Northumberland, Countess of, see 

Talbot, Mary 
Northumberland, 5th Earl of, 32-4 
Northumberland, 6th Earl of, see 


Observants, The (Friars Minors), 

138-40, 183, 204 
Ormonde, Anne, Lady, 3 
Ormonde, Sir Thomas, afterwards 

7th Earl of Ormonde, 2-3, 22,37n 
Ortiz, Dr., 130, 135, 144, 154, 167, 

251, 253, 263 
Ossory, Earl of, see Butler, Piers 
Oxford, Earl of, 51, 137 

Page, Sir Richard, 279, 280 

Parker, Archbishop, 307 

Parker, Henry, Lord Morley and 

Mounteagle, 45 
Parker, Jane, afterwards Lady 

Rochford, 26, 45, 134, 182, 220, 

250, 288-9, 298, 304 
Paul III., Pope, 225, 240, 244, 250, 


Paulet, Sir William, 219, 273 
Peacock, Sir Stephen, 171, 177 
Pembroke, Marchioness of, see 

Percy, Henry Algernon, afterwards 
6th Earl of Northumberland, 
3iff., 54, 61, 141-2, 206, 217, 
231, 285, 289, 291 
Peto, William, 138-40, 182, 204 
Pole, Henry, Lord Montague, 263 
Pole, Reginald, afterwards Car- 
dinal, 41, 119, 133-4, 204 
Pommeraye, Giles de la, 132, 210 
Praemunire, Statute of, 117, 120, 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 43 
Renee, Princess, 44 
Rice (or Rouse), Richard, 123 
Richmond, Duke of, see Henry 

Rochester, Bishop of, see Fisher 
Rochford, Lady, see Boleyn, Lady 

Elizabeth, and Parker, Jane 
Rochford, Lady Anne, see Anne 
Rochford, Lady Mary, see Boleyn, 


Rochford, 1st Viscount.sge Boleyn, 

Rochford, 2nd Viscount, see Bo- 
leyn, George 
Rochford (Essex), 37*1 
Round, Dr. J. H., historian, 303 
Russell, Sir John, 58, 108 
Rutland, Thomas Manners, Earl 
of, 162 

St. Asaph, Bishop of, 121 

St. Leger, Anne, 3, 7, 23, 56 

St. Leger, James, 3 

St. Quattuor, Cardinal, 67 

Salisbury, Countess of, 133-4, 202 

Salle (Norfolk), 1, 7 

Sampson, Dr., 125, 128 

Sanders, Dr. Nicholas, vi., 1, 10, 

19-21, 27, 123, 236 
Seymour, Jane, 243, 246-7, 249, 

257, 259, 263, 265, 268, 282, 292 
Seymour, Sir Edward, 247, 263,265 
Seymour, Sir John, 247 
Seymour, Sir Thomas, 247 
Shaxton, Nicholas, Bishop of 

Salisbury, 232 
Shelton, Lady, see Boleyn, Anne 
Shelton, Margaret, 234, 276-7 
Shelton, Sir John, 206, 234 
Shrewsbury, Earl of, 35, 142 
Sidney family, The, 246 
Smeaton, Mark, 271-3, 278, 279, 

283-4, 292-4 
Spanish Chronicler, The (Antonio 

de Guaras), 61, 177, 272, 28o« 
Spelman, Sir John, 18m., 287 



Stafford, Mary, see Boleyn, Mary 
Stafford, Sir William, 229-30 
Stokesley, Dr., afterwards Bishop 

of London, 103, 109, 125, 194 
Stoner, Mrs., 274, 278, 288 
Stow, John, chronicler, 138, 176, 


Strickland, Miss Agnes.biographer, 

36, 151, 288«., 304, 305 
Suffolk, Duchess of, see Mary, 

Queen of France 
Suffolk, Duke of, see Brandon 
Surrey, Earls of, see under Howard 

Tailebois, Lady, 28-9, 30, 37 
Talbot, Francis, Lord, 179 
Talbot, Mary, afterwards Countess 
of Northumberland, 34-5, 141 -2 
Tarbes, Bishop of, see Grammont 
Thorns, W. J., antiquarian, 305 
Troyes, Bailly of, see Dinteville 
Tudor, Mary, see under Mary 
Tuke, Sir Brian, 74, 121 
Tyndale, William, 119 

Vannes, Peter, 89, 93 

Vaughan, Stephen, ngn., 185, 214 

Vaux, John Joachim de Passano, 

Sieur de, 129, 132 
Vendome, Duchess of, 149 
Vere, Frances, afterwards Countess 

of Surrey, 137 

Walsingham, Sir Edward, 173 
Warham, William, Archbishop of 

Canterbury, 42, 136, 145 
Weston, Sir Francis, 151, 174, 

276-7, 278, 279, 292-3 

Whitehall, see York Place 
Wilton Nunnery affair, The, j6ff 
Wiltshire, Earl and Countess of, 
see under Boleyn, Thomas and 
Lady Elizabeth 
Winchester, Bishop of, see Gar- 

Wingfield, Lady, 287-8 

Wingfield, Sir Robert, 12 

Wolsey, Thomas, Cardinal Arch- 
bishop of York, 14, 23-4, 31/f., 
43, 44. 46#, 53. 55. 63-4, 65^., 
7 6#, 8 7 j?., 91, 92, 94#. "8, 
132 ; his fall, 102, lo^ff. ; his 
end, 1 1 4-5 

Wriothesley, Charles, 174, 176, 
180, 181, 192M., 194, 251, 259, 
271, 292, 296 

Wriothesley, Thomas, 146, 194 

Wyatt, George, biographer, 27, 
57-61, 63, in 

Wyatt, Sir Henry, 12, 56, 180, 280 

Wyatt, Lady, see Brooke, Elizabeth 

Wyatt, Margaret, afterwards Lady 
Lee, 57, 167, 295 

Wyatt, Thomas, the poet, 27, 56ff., 
in, 149, 180, 278, 279, 280 ; 
poems quoted, 58^., 62M., 149, 

Wyatt, Sir Thomas, the younger, 
27, 57 

York, Archbishops of, see Wolsey 
and Lee 

York Place, Westminster, 25, 32, 
96, 102, 105, 108, 117, 123, 
X59, 181 




DA Sergeant, Philip Walsingham 

333 The life of Anne Boleyn